I am now in my late 50s and have suffered from depression since 1973. 3 1/2 years ago, I was put on 80 mg of Ritalin a day to keep me from sleeping all day. At first, it was a godsend. Then I found that I had to take more and more to get the desired effect, which was alertness and optimism. In addition to Ritalin, I take 90 mg. of Cymbalta, 1 mg. of Risperdal, 1 mg. of Ativan and 5 mg. of Zyprexa.

About a year ago, there was a backorder on Ritalin and its generics, methylphenidate and methylin. I could not get my meds and ended up having to go cold turkey. It was awful and I ended up in the ER with convulsions. It was only then that I realized that I was addicted to Ritalin. Stupid me. Once I was stabilized at the hospital, the doctor told me that stopping Ritalin cold was not an option. I would have to talk to my doctor and get into "a program." The hospital then gave me a supply of a week's worth of Ritalin to get me through until I could either see my doctor or check to see if the backorder status was over. I went to see my doctor who continues to dispense the prescriptions, while telling me to join NA. I am trying to avoid this. I think my doctor over medicates and that I am on too many drugs. I need to get off of them, but will not do cold turkey again.

My question is, has anyone else in this group battled with Ritalin addiction? I do not drink or smoke or do street drugs, so this is my first encounter with addiction. It is scary. I do not want to go to NA.