Former Addict & Stimulants
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Q:  Former Addict & Stimulants

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and a.d.d. years ago. I have been on many meds and finaly feel like like I am one medication away from being at a manageable level. I take cymbalta, risperdal and concerta, but wish to switch to an amphetamaine instead. I feel that in the past amphetamines have worked far better  than concerta for a.d.d., mood, and low energy caused by meds. The problem is that this year I started using drugs, went to rehab three months ago and have been clean since. I don't know how to convince my doctor that I need to switch to anamphetamine and can use it responsibly. I have never abused my meds, even when on drugs and have shown no signs of mania when on amphetamines. It has been two years since I have been prescribed to adderal and dexidrine and don't know how my doctor  will react to me wanting to make the switch. I don't know how to ask him without sounding like I am seeking this medication for its abuse potential since I am a  former addict and he knows this.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Hello Tom -- 
Tricky. I'd have a tough time weighing in on this one at a distance. In general, what I look for from people in your situation taking stimulants is some concrete evidence of effectiveness, something objective and not your subjective account (e.g. getting and keeping a job); a perfect track record of refill times (no lost prescriptions, no requests to refill early, no glitches of any kind along those lines); and an understanding of some agreed-upon ceiling beyond which we won't go, before we start. Maybe specifying some of those before you start would help. Good luck with that. 

Dr. Phelps

Published November, 2005


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