I'm ready to try nicotine for my ADD: e-cigs or patch?

Well, as many may know from ADD and/or smoking threads, I have a raging case of ADD which was first suspected when I quit smoking 10 years ago.

Fast Background:

The day I first tried smoking, I smoked more than a pack and for the following 26 years smoked an average of 2 packs a day of the 120’s. Not quite a chain smoker, but close.

I was a voracious reader, I would read 2-12 novels every month plus a dozen periodicals. I would sit in the morning and chain smoke and read straight through for 2 or 3 hours.

Quit in 2000, cold turkey.

Immediately lost the ability to read novels. Since I quit smoking I have read only one, “The Road” which I found so riveting it kept me going. I can rarely read any one thing for longer than 20-30 minutes at most.

My then-therapist suggested that I might have ADD, because nicotine is a stimulant and ADD is treated with stimulants and losing my ability to focus on reading after stopping was pretty compelling evidence that I had been using nicotine to self-medicate. I completely dismissed the suggestion as ridiculous.

After five more years of struggle becoming progressively worse, I was officially diagnosed and medicated.

I have been using Adderall for 6 years. It never worked the same way nicotine did, for instance it never made reading easier. But it definitely helped in some respects.

But it’s just not cutting it anymore and I’m in bad shape. I have been mulling nicotine for awhile, I talked to my shrink about it and he said that studies have shown that some ADD sufferers respond to it better than anything else. I think I’m one of those people. (Google it: it’s being studied and talked about more and more and some drug companies are working on ways to employ it for the treatment of ADD officially.)

I am terrified of awakening the smoking monster inside me. I don’t want to fight it off and I absolutely do not want to smoke ever again: nicotine isn’t a great thing but cigarettes and smoking are evil for many reasons that have nothing to do with nicotine.

But I need help. I have to find something that really makes a difference, and everything I’ve read tells me that nicotine may be my real answer because it seems particularly effective where I have the greatest need: impulse control. So I want to give it a try.

The question is: patches or e-cigs? I am drawn to e-cigs because I believe they are cheaper than the patch and because I think they would give me the answer more readily: take a couple of hits and I’ll know one way or another if it’s working. The patch seems kind of iffy…how long does it take to get into the system? And they seem pretty expensive.

So…anyone have any opinions one way or another? Any ADDers try it? And do the e-cigs really feel and taste like smoking? Because maybe that would be bad because it would be more likely to trigger the desire to smoke…

did you try coffee or caffeine? How about turning off the internet?

Nicotine is addictive regardless of what form you take it in. Heroin addicts are at the mercy of the dealers, and nicotine addicts are similarly at the mercy of the government which nowadays has a special hate for them. The government can mess with the price and availability of nicotine products all it wants, and the addicts are on the receiving end without recourse.

Wow. This will go over about as well as asking if you should purposely infect yourself with a tapeworm for the weight loss benefits.

Given your situation, and only in consultation with a medical doctor, I’d suggest the patch over the e-cig.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a great proponent of the e-cig for people who want to quit smoking. HOWEVER, since you’re not currently smoking, I think it’s too risky to use a nicotine delivery system that so closely mimics a cigarette. I’m afraid that the first time you’re out of juice or out of batteries, you’ll grab a pack of smokes instead. The very thing that makes it so good for quitting smoking - allowing smokers to inhale, to hold a cylinder between your fingers, to make the hand to mouth motions that are just as hard to give up as the nicotine - make it a bad choice for you.

IMHO, of course. I’d suggest you talk to your doctor about the patch, gum or lozenges, instead. The nicotine is delivered quickly with any of these systems. The patch you switch out once a day so there’s a steady stream of nicotine delivered to your system. Gum or lozenges allows you to take in some nicotine when you need it and none when you don’t.

Tell me more about this tapeworm/weight loss thing! where would one buy tapeworms?

Seriously though…Can your doctor prescribe gum or patches so your insurance (if applicable) would cover it?

I know people whose insurance covers patches. (Or nearly so. I think he pays $15 a month.) That’s for smoking cessation, though I’m sure you could declare that you now need them for smoking cessation-- you were a smoker for decades! I have no idea if you need a doctor’s note to get the insurance coverage.

I fear you’re right. I think I should go patchy.

Camel Snu

Well, I’m taking speed already, and that’s not the greatest thing in the world.

ADD is not a minor issue, not in my life. Having a life at all depends on managing it in some way. If I don’t, you will find me under a bridge somewhere not too long from now.

And it works:


Why not gum?

I’d skip the e cigarette, as it mimics smoking too closely. The patch would be the path to take. Your body absorbs it slowly and steadily, you could always augment it with the gum for extra boost if needed.

I had a TLDR about how this was the stupidest thing I had ever heard, but then I got to thinking about it…
Go for it, Stoid! Let us know how it works out.

Stoid I thank you for sharing your frustration with these issues, and the risks you feel you need to take. I don’t know what will satisfy the issues you mentioned, but what to wish you lost of luck in whatever method you choose.


Where’s my brain bleach…

Too funny. I was thinking the exact same thing. :smiley:

In the same vein, a while back some friends and I were idly discussing drugs (not that any of us have much experience). Someone mentioned meth, and how after taking it you’re up for three days cleaning your house. Immediately, I wonder how I can get my hands on some - my house is often a disaster.

I’m a smoker who has tried e-cigs. I like them. But I also think they are quite similar to a cigarette. It’s a slippery slope that might not be worth risking.

***BUT ***there are people who used to smoke analogs (real cigarettes) who switched to e-cigs who say they will never go back, and never have, because e-cigs taste so much cleaner and more pleasant.

It could really go either way.

You’re kidding, right? Or vastly uneducated, one or the other. The liquid nicotine in e-cigs is not carcinogenic. No tar, no smoke. It’s fucking water vapor.

Oh and snus are a possible alternative too.

In my original post I erased my comment about this. Being an e-cig user, I would definitely not go in that direction if you are trying to get a purely medicinal effect. The process of inhaling and having something in your hand could have you back on analogs if you aren’t careful. Were you trying to quit analogs, I would endorse e-cigs, but there are a lot of better options, such as gums & mints.

This will be an interesting experiment.

Why not gum?

When I was traveling in India I met hordes of girls off the European trail, who’d consumed too much wine/bread/cheese and put on some weight, as a result. They were eating strictly street food attempting to get a tapeworm or at least the trots!

Or the reverse, having dropped to their lowest weight while traveling through Asia, living on largely fish/fruit/rice + swimming/walking/climbing, they reach somewhere like Bali, where clothing is remarkably cheap and outfit themselves with a new wardrobe, for a song, to match their new hot body. Only to find, like ten days after getting back to a North American diet that they’ll never get to wear them! I know someone with a pair of leather pants they will never fit into again!