November 20, 2019 at 6:39 am #134917Violet6Participant
I really need a substitute for alcohol. The stimulant medication I’ve taken makes me anxious so I’m on Strattera but alcohol is the one thing that I’ve found gets my brain working properly. It switches the light 💡 on. What can I use instead? I need a healthy alternative, please!
November 20, 2019 at 7:48 am #134918quietlylostParticipant
What is it about alcohol that helps your brain? Does it calm it? Does it relax you? Does it make you feel energized?
Think back to a time before you began drinking. Were there times when you remember your brain working better than others? Are you a night person or a morning person? Do you do better when you’re alone or around others? Do you find that you sleep well? Do you have trouble with distraction?
It’s also possible the medication you’re on isn’t at the right dose or effectiveness yet. Strattera takes time to work and become effective, so you have to be consistent and patient. It’s not as fast as some of the other medications.
Ultimately, though, you have to figure out what you’re medicating with the alcohol. What does it “do” for you? If you can start to pinpoint that in more detail, then you can begin to find alternatives that might do the same thing. Including things like music, exercise, sleep, brain strategies, mindfulness, friendship support, therapy, etc.
November 20, 2019 at 9:34 am #134932Penny WilliamsKeymaster
Many people with ADHD self-medicate with alcohol or drugs (as well as many with anxiety). The key to quitting alcohol is to find medication that has a similar effect for you. Working with a clinician that is well-versed in adult ADHD and addiction is ideal.
This Expert Answer echos the comment above:
It’s tough to quit using something that is working for you, even when you know it isn’t an appropriate solution.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
December 14, 2019 at 2:13 am #136371adhdadult401Participant
Yea don’t do that. I can relate. It’s all in your head. You just think it helps. i had the exact same vibe. Also I had bad anxiety from adderall. With the alc it will become a thing if it already isn’t a thing. Trust me that’s bad news bears real quickly. It actually is making shit worse. The anxiety actually might be related to the alc. In my case it ended up being that way. The alc helps cope with stimulant come down. No bueno trust meh.
December 14, 2019 at 11:45 am #136374Skypark962Participant
I know alot of people that Straterra didn’t do much. That’s just my opinion on it, if it helps others–great. For people with any anxiety or depression, usually a combo of medicines can help you achieve balance. Adderall plus Wellbutrin or other combos I have taken in the past. I also used to take 20mg Adderall XR in high school & now at 34, can only handle 10mg XR, with 5mg tablet in the afternoon. Dosing is something you should always look at. It doesn’t matter if it’s the right medicine if you’re taking too much or too little & Dr.’s always put adults on a starting dose of Adderall at 20mg–which I think it too high. I think starting low & titrating–to find the perfect dose for you at your time of life.
I used to think alcohol helped, but the havoc it reaks on your sleep & body…..for the beginning affects, I’ve found aren’t worth it. Long-term, it’s not sustainable. It is a CNS depressant, whereas stimulants are a CNS stimulant. My SPECT scan showed over-activity everywhere in my brain (way more than normal), except temporal & prefrontal cortex. I am helped by a stimulant, because it seems to get the blood flow where it needs & the rest stops overcompensating. I’m lucky this is the case. Google Dr. Amen and looks at the scans & read about his research. Most people are complicated cases & may need a calming type medicine (SSRI/anti-depressant) before ever introducing a stimulant.
Watch you caffeine too….you didn’t mention it, but if you’re a monster, redbull, coffee…..those will stress you out.
Thyroid specialist are something to look at too, as the endocrine system is responsible for pretty much everything in your body. I started having panic attacks at 28 when my thyroid started acting up & every Dr. said I was in the normal range. It wasn’t until I went to an expert that knew what range it really should be in & took my symptoms into account.
I take 20mcg Cytomel, 4% Testosterone & 15mg of Adderall & I feel like everything’s in balance.
I wish you luck as your sort everything out!
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