By Rick Green
I have been thinking about the abuse and misuse of ADHD medication.
And here I’m referring to the official, approved, doctor prescribed, legally obtained medications, stimulant and otherwise.
Like 99% of people with ADD who eventually try medication, I was reluctant to rely on a ‘crutch.’ I was worried I’d become addicted, that it would kill my creativity, turn me into a hop-head. (Actually, I’m not even sure what that is, except they used it a lot in 1940’s detective movies.)
DOCTOR JEKYLL AND MR. RICK
I was afraid that my doctor was going to push pills on to me.
I was concerned that the Pharma companies were going to get me hooked.
I was afraid I would no longer be ‘Rick’.
I had a thousand concerns.
So my doctor answered my questions. He assured me that a mild stimulant would not make me an addict, and that none of his clients who worked in ‘creative fields’ had said it impacted their creativity, I gingerly gave medication a try.
That is, I gave official, approved, doctor prescribed, legally obtained medications at try. I was already self medicating with overwork, constant novelty seeking, adrenaline, and vats of caffeine.
SO I TOOK THE PILL…
For me, medication made a big difference. Shocking in a way. I was able to sit and finish my tax paperwork. The first time that happened was mind-boggling. I felt like I’d won the Indy 500. I wanted to open a bottle of champagne and spray my pit crew while Miss Goodyear Tires presented me with my trophy. Magic pills!
My doctor was right. I was still creative. I wasn’t addicted. I was actually felt more like myself rather than less.
And so I stopped asking questions.
IF IT AIN’T BROKE…
I didn’t read the pamphlet that came with the medication. Boring, right. Didn’t even glance at it. I didn’t keep up on the latest information.
When I used to read the Forums here on TotallyADD, I rarely looked at the conversation streams about medication. Even though those streams were, and are, the most searched and read.
So I had no idea that having orange juice in the morning would negate the effect of my particular medication. Until a few weeks back, when someone mentioned this during a conversation, and everyone but me was nodding, “Yeah. You can’t have orange juice, it interferes.” “Yeah, ruins the uptake.” “That’s right.”
WHY WASN’T I TOLD?
How come I didn’t know this?
What else don’t I know?
Why didn’t my doctor tell me?
Why didn’t the pharmacist warn me?
Why didn’t the drug company inform me?
And then I saw the common thread in all of these thoughts… me.
Why hadn’t I made the effort to find out? Here we have created this website, TotallyADD, with Forums full of first hand experience. It is a treasure trove of insight and information. Why am I NOT using it?
We so often complain about irresponsible doctors, companies, and organizations. But I’m embarrassed to say, the one weak link in the chain, the irresponsible one, is not a doctor or a drug company.