How frequent is drug use like amphetamine?

Q: i was wondering i have heard that people with bipolar disorder usually have a history of drug abuse like ampetimines is this true? i have been diagnosed and was not truly honest with the dr i did not tell him that i am using ampetimines. since the visist i have stopped.

Dear Lisa --
Generally research studies show about 50% of people with bipolar disorder use drugs or alcohol (more alcohol than anything else, although that's partly because it's so available!). 

Stopping was a good idea.  It's really not possible to be stable, in terms of mood, until you do.  Most of my patients find that more than about 1 drink per week of alcohol has a destabilizing effect (and of course they wouldn't be in a position to tell that until they'd been off entirely for a few months, and doing well on medications).  But amphetamine is much more destabilizing and is pretty much out, from what I've seen.

Dr. Phelps


Published February, 2001