What It's Like To Be A Stripper With A Serious Adderall Addiction

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I'm Not Ashamed To Admit I Have An Adderall Addiction

I was awake without eating for 36 hours, the price one pays for procrastination.

Adderall and similar medications have a reputation of abuse by women dieting and college students cramming. Slightly less known misuses include athletes using it as a performance enhancer, party kids taking it to curb the sedating effects of alcohol, and creative artists relying on it to produce a higher quality and quantity of work.

I fully admit that all five of these contexts apply to me. I have an addiction to Adderall and abuse the drug because I'm a stripper; it not only helps me work into the wee hours, but makes me a more social and entertaining person, which wins over customers and results in more income.

The first time I used a stimulant ADHD drug was when I was cramming for high school finals. A classmate gave me 5mg of Ritalin. We had a study group planned for the evening and I was the blatant freeloader who'd been slacking all semester.

As I listened in on the rapid review, I was amazed at how well every last factoid sunk in. I was absorbing everything like a sponge and still can't think of a time I retained information so well. The Ritalin didn't have me hooked but I knew this drug had performed a near miracle on me, landing me a B+ on the final.

In college, I took the ADHD test offered by student services and was diagnosed but the health care center wouldn't prescribe me stimulants. I tried the useless drug Strattera, but after giving that some time, I realized I could shop around for another doctor who didn't necessarily have to know about my alcohol abuse history.

I ordered a copy of my diagnosis test results and thanked god for HIPAA laws. Gaming the system to score, man! 

I wasn't consistently on Ritalin throughout college but I have a strong memory of quadruple-dosing on my 20mg pills when I had back-to-back finals. Yes, I felt like a crackhead but man, do you know how convenient it is to not experience hunger and be fully immune from distractions while cramming?

I had all my books, plus my laptop and other valuables spread out at the library and didn't want to pack up the whole shop just so I could eat elsewhere without fear of being robbed. I was in the motherf*cking ZONE during that all-nighter and nothing was going to take me out of it.

I was awake without eating for 36 hours, the price one pays for procrastination.

Immediately after college graduation, I found myself sharing Ritalin with my friends. Three of us went to a rather shady house music event at a warehouse. We popped them so we could stay up all night and make the two-hour trip back home.

But between age 23 and now, I've had different kinds of drug treatment that either did or didn't include Adderall because I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar and ADHD have tons of overlapping symptoms, such as impulsivity and hyperactivity. They coexist in my case, though I was told rather patronizingly during my bipolar mania hospitalization that I'd been "misdiagnosed" as ADHD.

Since my bipolar diagnosis, I've had many doctors refuse to prescribe me Adderall because it can trigger mania, which I struggle with more than depression. One hospital's specialized bipolar clinic actually suggested Adderall, which I didn't dare ask for, having spent the better part of a year being talked down to, infantilized, and stuffed with awful sedatives.

Since this past June, I've been alternating between Adderall XR and Adderall short-release pills. I'm currently on the XR, but I'm constantly pining for the other kind, which does the trick more quickly and effectively.

I requested the XR this past month because, despite the higher price, I thought it would be a smoother experience without making me so embarrassingly high-strung. But I forgot that the first time I took the XR, I wasn't relying on a strip club for income, just the escorting, which involves fewer work hours and less of a "party girl" persona.

Unfortunately, since running out of fast-acting Adderall a week ago, my strip club hustle has plummeted. I can't think of anything interesting or entertaining to say to customers. It's all small talk instead of making them laugh or giving off sexy, horny vibes.

There are easily attainable ways to improve my situation: make a point to be more social, skip the wine aisle at the grocery store, take advantage of my new ClassPass addiction, improve my marketing copy for the escorting business, buy organic groceries, have a spa day.

But these distractions don't address the real issue. When you have a troubled brain, too much time alone with your own thoughts is literally dangerous. I wouldn't hesitate to voluntarily hospitalize myself if it came to that.


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