8. Zero. Nil. P, meth or cannabis addiction…my doc says, “well done”!

Zero. Nil. methamphetamine or cannabis addiction…my doc says, “well done”!

There are some things in life , especially that in the life of a person with ADHD, that are very difficult to talk about, especially on the matter of ‘illicit‘ use of stimulant drugs.. the go -to medication for ADHD sufferers.

If we have any hope to break through stigma, any hope to change the lives of sufferers- “growing balls, manning up, and speaking the unspeakable, -is a necessity”.

Ok problem. I realise that to do that – to break through the shame, and in some cases for some- to speak and confess of illegal drug use, production, trade etc risks loss of reputation, outing others, immense persecution and perhaps even career loss and criminal conviction.

ADHD specialised, non-judging , empathetic professionals are so very much lacking in my observation! Highly qualified treatment providers, louder and localised spokespeople even ADHD Adhdcoaches …we need more of them!

Perhaps it’s the small country we live in, here in New Zealand, perhaps it’s because for doctors and psychiatrists, ADHD specific study is not part of the requisite training?, perhaps even more serious, is the controversy over whether ADHD is even an disorder at all.

The day of my initial diagnosis , I was prepared for a barrage of tricky questions. I had already endured and fulfilled the mighty depressing task of negative symptom listing, but what I wasn’t prepared for, was the frustrating feeling of sitting there…gagged at the mouth and clothed in a straitjacket.

My doctor leaned in, steely eyes glued to mine and asked me outright, “ do you use drugs?”

I paused, wondering exactly what he meant by that. But impulsively blurted out.

“I’ve used drugs, yes” , Then added, “but I’m not addicted to any drug, except nicotine”

“And I don’t need drugs to have a good time , nor do I particularly like them! ”, “I’ve seen the damage they can cause!”

“Aaah” he muttered.

“Well, nicotine administration can be a method of self medicating ADHD, as can other drugs”

“Yes, I’m aware of that” said I.

Leaning back and wiggling in my chair, I prompted, “What do you specifically mean by, “do I use drugs” then?”

He googled me. Then stated without emotion. “Just that.”

Boy! , he wasn’t making things easy here. And therein is the problem.

Supposedly, you are supposedly able to talk to your doctor about “anything”. Supposedly, hopefully, what is said inside those four office walls… stays inside those four office walls. But sadly, I couldn’t help but feel I was taking the stand! Not helped by a quick glance upwards towards several copies of bibles and religious books lining his seventies style bookshelf!

This particular “drug use” convo with Dr T continued. Throughout, I felt as though a gag ball was completely blowing up in my mouth.

My heart was beating fast. I had so much I wanted to say! , I felt so badly in need of open, safe discussion!

To this day, and even at this very moment! there is so much I wish I could say! But feel compelled to remain in silence. At least for now.

Half of my story had to be left out, my questions about potential advice to help significant others with suspected ADD who are battling/maintaining drug addiction had to be left out! My experiences and observations on topic throughout my life had to be left out!

I wasn’t there that day to be told “well done for not having a drug addiction”!

I wasn’t there that day to be judged nor to put others in jeopardy.

I cannot help but think our policing and justice system have done ADHD sufferers a huge disservice by making ADHD medication ie; stimulant drugs into evil demon drugs. !

These stimulant drugs are the go-to prescription medication for ADHD sufferers, they help normalise our brains different neurological processes. Yes ok-I acknowledge that street drugs are an slightly different kettle of fish, but pure unadulterated Methamphetamine sold under the brand name Desoxyn, is used for the treatment of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Yes DESOXYN, aka methamphetamine hydrochloride tablets, chemically known as something along the lines of dimethylbenzeneethanamine hydrochloride, may help increase attention and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity in patients with ADHD.

Who speaks about this in New Zealand ? Who speaks about this when talking about the evils of meth?

And what illegal-street drug user, unwittingly self medicating for his undiagnosed adult ADHD, wishes to confide in any doctor about his dirty little drug use secret?

Any chronic drug user would have packed up and run a mile from my doctor and his myriad of bible translations!

It must be noted that currently diagnosis is made in NZ both through the TOVA computer test and analysis of voluntary information.

Those patients withholding and restricting what is key information- can sorely sabotage both correct diagnosis and ultimately, adequate treatment.

I cannot stress hard enough how easy it is for sufferers to fall through the grubby, shoddy societal cracks.

For myself, while I managed to stay put throughout questioning, and incidentally divulging a bucket load of information as it was, I still experience the inadequacy of high cost medical attention, the staunch delusions of social sigmas, overall insufficiencies of the pharmaceutical, medical and justice systems.

Although methamphetamine is not my ideal treatment drug, the alternate, Dexamphetamine gives me enough grief.

Under regulation 22 of the NZ Misuse of Drugs Regulations 1977, Dexamphetamine is a classified, controlled and restricted drug.

And suffice to say I felt a nervousness that day, and a sure conviction that had I been a drug addict, I would have been firmly refused treatment with any stimulant, both Dexamphetamine, Desoxyn and Ritalin alike.

I truly felt disappointed I was unable to be completely open, very disappointed in my medical professional, and quite horrified to learn that from thence forward .. every month for the rest of my life I would have to pay fees to renew my prescription for the blessed white amphetamine pills and further, that I would eternally face full blown fees in the hundreds of dollars for ritualistic protocol assessments. (Absolutely no govt. assistance available)

Ironically , after 1 year of monthly panics to renew my prescription on time, to avoid being caught with an empty pill bottle … I sadly stated this…

“Heaven forbid, I’m turning into a freaking damned and dirty drug addict”

NOBODY SHOULD BE MADE TO FEEL LIKE THIS.

Dear God in heaven. I feel this. That I’m damned if I am , and I’m damned if I ain’t.

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