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    Aspergers and substance abuse 
    #1
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    I have been recently diagnosed with aspergers and my drinking and drug use was brought up. I am curious to hear from others who have aspergers and abuse drugs and alcohol and also from those who are now clean. I have used drugs heavily since 13, I am now 21. I regularyly use ecstacy, weed, cocaine and drink most nights. Generally all my social activities involve drinking or drug use. There is very little information online about how one affects the other and vice versa.

    Do you think that you use drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism due to your aspergers? If you no longer use, how did you quit, why, and is your quality of life better now?
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    #2
    I don't have Aspergers, but I do have a friend who was diagnosed a year or so ago. He's a polydrug user and has experimented a lot over the last year. As far as I know, he is using only psychedelics - says they make him feel more social. He avoids weed, though - he mostly uses E and LSD in moderation. He also gave up drinking and "hard" drugs - coke, H, meth, etc. This is totally anecdotal, though, and I really am not very informed about the condition, so definitely do some research and be careful. Also, if you have any specific questions, feel free to PM me, and I can relay your message to him or give him your email or something.

    Oh, and he did say that using drugs made it easier to relate to people and he felt more comfortable, so def a coping mechanism. I don't see him as much as I used to, but he seems happier now that he's quit some of the drug use and kept the rest in moderation.
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    #3
    Aspergers and Autism difference is something that most people do not even realize. I think by building a common interest of their own might create a difference.
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    #4
    Bluelighter panic in paradise's Avatar
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    i also do not have aspergers, but as i understand it people who do are of high intelligence, but dont know how to direct/utilize it, or feel socially awkward or have severe agoraphobia.

    so it is understandable that one might try to dumb ones self down if they cant control their thoughts, or thought release. drugs at first usually make you feel sociable and lively, at ease with your self and surroundings, so gravitating towards them to do so, is kind of normal.

    that is only going to worsen and extend the problem if you dont learn proper communication skills, or at least come to realize that every one puts their foot in their mouth from time to time; take me for instance, once it became clear situations are only as stressful or uncomfortable as i allow them to be, life became that much easier. i know its hard and maybe sounds easier said, but i had to do it, and still do as a part of my schizoeffective.

    accept this as a new beginning, a large answer to any questions you had about yourself, and life as it is/was for you. i hope you are able to take control of this, or at least not let it control or define you.
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    btw, the 'schizo-affective' was dropped....
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    Last edited by panic in paradise; 02-01-2012 at 09:36.
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    #5
    Bluelighter Binge Artist's Avatar
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    It's probably questionable if Asperger's is even a "disorder".
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    #6
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    ^^ How so??
    It can be quite debilitating and frustrating for the individual, so to me that classifies as a disorder.

    I don't have Aspergers either but as pip said, using drugs and alcohol could stall one's progression in finding ways to effectively cope with the syndrome. I think each individual case would need to assess how drugs and alcohol were effecting them in relation to their syndrome.

    postman_pat, do you have a problem with your drug and alcohol use? Do you think it's negatively effecting you and your diagnosed condition?
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    #7
    I have a friend with asperger too, he just smokes weed and he says it relaxes him.

    what symptoms exactly describe aspergers?

    sometimes I dont think psychological disorders really exists. well It does but Ive gave some thought to it and believe everyone has psychological disorder technically but everyone varies in severity, some might be worse some might be better
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    #8
    Bluelight Crew n3ophy7e's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystery Brew View Post
    believe everyone has psychological disorder technically but everyone varies in severity, some might be worse some might be better
    This could definitely have some truth to it. But then, if one's disorder isn't causing them any disruption to their life, is it really a disorder?

    For reference: Asperger Syndrome
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    #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by postman_pat View Post
    I have been recently diagnosed with aspergers and my drinking and drug use was brought up. I am curious to hear from others who have aspergers and abuse drugs and alcohol and also from those who are now clean. I have used drugs heavily since 13, I am now 21. I regularyly use ecstacy, weed, cocaine and drink most nights. Generally all my social activities involve drinking or drug use. There is very little information online about how one affects the other and vice versa.

    Do you think that you use drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism due to your aspergers? If you no longer use, how did you quit, why, and is your quality of life better now?

    I also have Asperger's Syndrome.

    I also abused drugs from 13/14yo to only recently. I eventually decided to quit my DOC in April 09. I went cold turkey from a few years of methadone and then buprenorphine maintenance.

    Life is hard sober. I find it a struggle. It is, however, better than life on drugs. There are many effects of drugs that can make the autistic person feel better for a time. They can help relax and increase social potential, or at least seem to.

    In the long term the drugs don't help. I'm still struggling to stay sober. I slip up occasionally.

    I was diagnosed as an adult, I was almost 35yo at the time. It was then I decided to go drug free because the condition I'd been aware of having my entire life was suddenly given a name. This gave me the confidence to try and confront life without numbing the pain artificially.

    It isn't easy. I'm starting off with zero social skills and coping mechanisms.

    Is AS a disorder? Well, technically, it's described as a neurological disease. This sounds extreme to some but we've forgotten what the word 'dis-ease' means. It means just that, a dis-ease, not at ease, uncomfortable, a problem, a 'thorn in the side'.

    My AS has certainly caused me major problems throughout my life. The prognosis is far more positive for people with sufficient support at the right times. I drifted through early adulthood homeless, sofa-surfing and abusing any and every chemical I could get my hands on. Anything to blot out reality. However, it never worked. The drugs don't work, eventually.

    Anyway, I think I've ranted enough for the time being.

    Blessings,

    Vince.
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    #10
    Bluelighter rant*N*rave's Avatar
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    Anecdotally, I can say that the people I know on the autism spectrum tend to use more drugs, and they use drugs to help them socialize. It does make sense - it's much harder for them to socialize, so a "social lubricant" would be very helpful, but get to using that lubricant too much, and it can lead to problems. It's easy to see where people could fall into that trap.
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    #11
    Bluelighter Wrongun's Avatar
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    My Dad and brother have aspergers syndrome so there is a chance I could have it. I can definetly see some of the traits in myself although they are a lot cleverer than me and their brain processes information differently, also I am a very social person and they aren't but i suppose I have always been different.

    I have a friend who has serviere aspergers who is 19. Since he was about 13 he has smoked weed very heavily every day, he now doesn't leave the house and his parents grudgingly give him money to support his habit and his dealer even comes to the window. He now CANNOT in his mind go without smoke and is now completely disfunctional. Not only is it his routine which a lot of people with aspergers have to have but an obssession and everyone I know with aspergers has an obsession and that is his. He left school and I cant see how how is going to get a job. He is stuck in a rut that if he doesn't come out will and is ruining his life. It really upsets me that there is nothing me, my friends, his parents and especially medical professionals who he hates can say or do to stop him as he won't have any of it and doesn't like to think about it. Once in a blue moon he will come out but really cant handle social situations which is understandable but he will go home shortly after to smoke more bongs and play games. Recently my brother got caught smoking weed at school and I went mental about it as I know he has a lot of prospects and I dont want him to turn out like my friend. As a brother I think I have the right to do this even though as he says I cant talk as I'm a druggie. I know for a fact smoking weed would do my brothers mind no good at all.

    Basically don't let drugs be your only way of dealing with things as they may become all you can deal with. There are links between people with aspergers smoking heavily and a higher than normal chance of becoming schizophenria and is my experience getting extreme paranoia. I don't know how other drugs effect aspergers but I would be interested to know.

    I don't know how much you need drugs just every now and again make sure you can do things you need you do without them. But to be fair I suppose all people who abuse and are reliant on drugs need to do that.

    Anyway rant over mate.
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    true dat... 
    #12
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    Yes, aspergers is heavily genetic/inherited in mine and everyone's [who I have spoken to] experience.

    So if your dad and brother, mother, grandparents, siblings, any family on the genetic tree are ASD [on the autistic spectrum] then yes this makes it more likely. This seems to be especially true if it is a very close relative such as parents and grandparents.

    I'm still trying to stay sober and sort of managing although I am scripted clonazepam, quetiapine and zopiclone so although my 'unofficial' drug use has stopped [for the time being], I am still very much on drugs that some people take for recreation (at least the clonazepam and zopiclone fall into that category, I dunno what moron would take quetiapine recreationally ).

    I am finding more support very beneficial and have started Cognitivie Behavioural Therapy, which has been very useful so far.

    I'm crippled by my anxiety but I am starting to recover. I think for me, the most destructive drugs were opiates and crack (methamphet probably would have been also but I never got round to that one, so who knows, although from what I hear...).

    I got hopelessly addicted to opiates, ending up on done and bupe maintenance. I'm now off maintenance therapy, which I think sux and shouldn't exist. I think an H addict should get scripted H not that horrible toxic shit methadone.

    It still surprises me I've managed to stay clean for 14 months (well, had a minor blip or two on weak opiates, a brief affair with tramadol, but in the main...).

    I agree with the comments about heavy drug abuse stopping the person with aspergers developing any life skills and thus making their 'condition' much much worse.

    Recreational drug use is not good when it is used as a medication in order to cope with life. I guess this isn't actually 'recreational', it's probably more accurately described as self-medicating. Recreational suggests it is just for fun and that the individual doesn't feel the need to do it just in order to survive.

    Keep it recreational! If it becomes more than recreation then seek help before things get worse!

    Don't read me wrong, I'm liberal. I believe drugs should be available to adults legally and from proper pharmaceutical sources. I think more harm is done by driving drugs underground. In my eyes it is disastrous that so many drugs are criminalised. The war on drugs is a joke. Most of the time it's small time dealers and users that get the bother with the law. I really don't see the point to any of it.

    My decision to go clean wasn't based on the fact drugs are illegal, far from it. And anyway, I was being scripted methadone and then bupe, legal and free (UK, NHS). It was based on the fact I was using them to cope with life and not recreationally and that is it, nothing more, nothing less.

    Maybe when I've learnt to cope with life without drugs I might use recreationally. Who knows? Anyway, that isn't my concern right now.

    OK, once again, that's my rant over

    Be careful guys and gals, stay safe,

    Vee
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    #13
    Asperger is a developmental disorder with main symptoms of lack of social and communicative interaction. Every individualís case of Asperger's is different and just because a majority of individual showed one symptom, that doesn't mean everyone, has got this disease. On the same way medication also differs depending upon the severity of the disease. With proper assistance you may lead a happy and full life.

    _____________________

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    #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas01 View Post
    Asperger is a developmental disorder with main symptoms of lack of social and communicative interaction. Every individualís case of Asperger's is different and just because a majority of individual showed one symptom, that doesn't mean everyone, has got this disease. On the same way medication also differs depending upon the severity of the disease. With proper assistance you may lead a happy and full life.

    _____________________

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    So I guess that's what I have. what kind of proper assistance is available ?
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    #15
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    ^^ The first step would be to see your doctor and discuss this with them. You need to get a proper diagnosis rather than a self-diagnosis off the net. They then might refer you on to a psychologist for further review and treatment.
    If you do get a proper diagnosis of Aspergers there are a lot of support groups and discussion boards available on the net and (I would assume) in your local area as well.
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    #16
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    I have Aspergers, and my main issues are with social communication. I have trouble interpretating people, or more specifically nonverbal communication between people, read between the lines sort of stuff like body language etc.
    And of course to respond accordingly is difficult and i often come across as introverted, robotic and shy, stumbling, nervous and confused.

    It's like that for me with people i don't know very well.
    For most people these things come almost instinctual it seems, i feel like i have to learn and memorize every step in social interaction.

    Which makes certain social gatherings such as parties very stressful for me, but at the same time i enjoy them because i have that social need to hang out and meet new people (especially when it comes to women).

    Alcohol and certain drugs help me alot in those situations. They help me relax and be more outgoing and social with people around me.

    Kinda like a social lubricant.
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    #17
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    i got Aspergers Syndrome, I was diagnosed when i was 7 years old.

    looking back at my substance abuse history, i have noticed that since starting to smoke weed I became a better person, but i'm not too sure thats cos of the aspergers
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    #18
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    Glad to see this thread as it's something I've spent a lot of time thinking about myself. For those with AS or High Functioning Autism, drugs can be a massive help but it's important to remember you're likely to be more prone to abuse problems with certain substances, and if you've had a difficult time due to the condition then you may well have some self-destructive urges buried deeper than you think.

    Unquestionably, MDMA was a revelation. At the time I first took it I was fortunate enough to have a small group of friends but any 'friendship' was based around me being able to rant at them about any shared interest we may have had. After my first pill I remember coming to the realisation I was a bit of a self-absorbed prick; not wilfully evil, but far from being the best friend I could be. It took time but I managed to address most of these issues as a result.

    The flipside of this is I've slipped into self-medication (as described above) on several occasions. This started with booze and progressed through phases with opioids, benzos, coke etc., and it's something I've only recently been able to begin to control.

    So to reiterate comments made above, try to be careful to work out coping mechanisms which don't rely on any drugs, but also don't take the line that you're some kind of helpless, self-destructive freak who must be kept away from any and all substances for their own good. I've seen this attitude displayed before, and though it's often well-intentioned (like a post above) it really doesn't help the subject to feel less isolated; quite the opposite in fact.

    As for help (beyond some quite useful online forums), good luck with that one. There are some outstanding professionals out there and also some who don't have the slightest clue. Unfortunately it's a lottery, especially here in Blighty. Can't imagine NI's much better but I hope for your sake it is. Most importantly I hope your diagnosis shows you the way forward rather than frightening you or making you feel less human. Remember you've always had it so nothing has changed - it's only now you can begin to know how to take the reins.
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    #19
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    Yeah i have thus far kept it under control, i only take it at parties and similar conditions, where it is more or less acceptable to be a little "intoxicated".

    Never taken anything at work for example, there i had to cope with the stress, but after a while i got to know my co-workers better and i learned my routines, time fixes things, in the beginning you just have to endure it.
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    #20
    I think assburgers syndrome is a construct of our modern age, as I believe is the same with ADHD.

    I think these things are purely psychological, not so much genetic but I can see how genetics can play a part. In any case, I think it's possible to grow out of or shake these sort of things off with the right effort and right environment.

    In any case, even if it is psychological, I can see how drugs can affect someone who is maybe not so great in the social skills department. On one hand it could be a social lubricant, on the other hand it could be a form of escape.

    I think someone can quickly shake these sort of things off with the right kind of daily community interaction and integration. Not so much with ADHD, but someone with Assburgers I can see benefitting from working a sort of job where it's required to constantly see people face to face, such as working a cash register.
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    #21
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    Erm, can I say that I don't mean to be rude but I think you need to actually interact with some people who have the condition and maybe you'll change your mind about it being a 'social constuct of our modern age'.

    If only it was... then maybe I'd be able to go into a supermarket without it being a low-level military operation...
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    #22
    I have indeed interacted with such people before.

    Humans tend to do things out of necessity, and when a dire necessity arises, it can be remarkable what a person is able to do.

    A long, long, time ago, before internet or even TV was around there was no such thing as Assburger's syndrome, or for that matter ADHD. People had much more of an incentive to go outside to do many things. Nowadays a person can spend many, many hours inside of the house while avoiding social contact, and not have it be so bad because they can find themselves pre-occupied with their computers and televisions and whatnot. When this happens social isolation ensues, and after social isolation lack of social skills ensues. It's very basic logic that people become better at things the more often they do them, and social contact is no different. In the old days people were more often forced out of necessity to spend their days outside doing a numerous amount of tasks. Assburger's syndrome did not exist back then. I think it's a shame that people nowadays find a reason to call almost every abnormality of a person a disease. I think it's more of an excuse, and there is also an economic incentive with the hiring of counselors and psychiatrists and whatnot. The more diseases there are, the more these people get paid, so of course they would like to come up with more of them.

    If going to the supermarket is a "low level military operation" for you, then I suggest you take a deep breath, collect yourself, and proceed to do it anyways. Go to the supermarket every single day, and force yourself to do it if you have to. If there is a cute girl working the cash register, force yourself to casually smile and say hello to her whilst approaching your turn at the check-out lane. As with most things that are improved with practice, I guarantee you will get better at doing this if you keep doing it every day, and it will cease to be a "low level military operation". If you are really up for a challenge, smile and casually tell the girl at the register that her hair looks nice that day, if you can manage to pull this off without being a creep, then by God you are cured of Assburgers syndrome. Once you have achieved the great task of going to the supermarket to achieve the simple and very necessary task of shopping for basic needs, you may decide to take it a step up and actually try making friends or reconnecting with ones you haven't talked in a while and perhaps even going to a party.

    I mean even when I go out to buy cigarettes at a small establishment, it's not unheard of me to make small chit-chat whoever's working the register. It's like there's always some dude behind a gas station counter ready to talk to me about the weather, whine to me about taxes, sometimes even make remarks about ethnic minorities. Those guys are often bored as fuck from their jobs and will chit chat with just about anyone.

    I challenge you to do this: find a friend with a car, and tell him to drive around and drop you off at a random ass place where you'll be forced to ask people around for directions, and maybe even about bus schedules and routes.

    I'm sure there's many, many more exercises of this sort, also living in a big city helps.

    Perhaps one of the best solutions of all might be to actually engage in intimate relations with the opposite sex. Girls love to open their mouths and talk and yap yap yap yap about absolutely nothing. But you're just too into her to care that she's doing this. After a while you might actually get used to this and be able to keep up with what she's saying, if not that's okay too, because now you are at least comfortable with it
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    #23
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    Erm... I'm perfectly happy with the big city I live in, my happy relationship with my long-term girlfriend and my reasonably large circle of friends, thanks!

    Maybe it's the somewhat-warped (but not uncommon) view of AS you seem to have which leads you to make borderline-offensive statements like the ones you made above. You seem otherwise intelligent (for a neurotypical - AS advocacy joke there, kids - believe it or not, some of us even have a sense of humour) so I'll rise above the nagging urge to argue and do what I usually do; sigh, move on and hope you come to a better understanding later in life.

    And I thought it was us AS people who were supposed to lack empathy!
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    #24
    Bluelighter Biovail's Avatar
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    Bumping this old topic.

    I've slowly come to realize I have fairly bad AS (as I'm sure is usually the case), and wanted to hear some more opinions on how drugs effect any others with this disorder. I recently have been reading how MDMA and LSD are commonly taken by AS sufferers to great effect (and LSD was even researched for treatment of AS disorders back in the 60's!. Aside from those two main ones, what other drugs seem to help? Has amphetamine (Adderall or other) helped? What is it about MDMA that seems to make it so useful compared to other drugs of the same class? MDA? 4-FA? What about other psychedelics such as Salvia, Mescaline, or the 2C's?

    I've never rolled or dropped acid, but I'm getting my first opportunity two do both coming up in a few weeks, and I'm suddenly hopeful this might offer some much needed insight/relief. Weed tends to not sit well with me. Though it did give me the insight needed to realize I have Aspergers in the first place (and that my dad does too), lately it's been very anxiogenic, leaving me feeling very uneasy even when I'm not stoned. Alcohol also sucks due to ADHD (the inattentive type). It can make me pretty "spacy", makes my attention worse, and makes my sleep worse, which makes all of the above worse again.
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    #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Biovail View Post
    Bumping this old topic.

    I've slowly come to realize I have fairly bad AS (as I'm sure is usually the case), and wanted to hear some more opinions on how drugs effect any others with this disorder. I recently have been reading how MDMA and LSD are commonly taken by AS sufferers to great effect (and LSD was even researched for treatment of AS disorders back in the 60's!. Aside from those two main ones, what other drugs seem to help? Has amphetamine (Adderall or other) helped? What is it about MDMA that seems to make it so useful compared to other drugs of the same class? MDA? 4-FA? What about other psychedelics such as Salvia, Mescaline, or the 2C's?

    I've never rolled or dropped acid, but I'm getting my first opportunity two do both coming up in a few weeks, and I'm suddenly hopeful this might offer some much needed insight/relief. Weed tends to not sit well with me. Though it did give me the insight needed to realize I have Aspergers in the first place (and that my dad does too), lately it's been very anxiogenic, leaving me feeling very uneasy even when I'm not stoned. Alcohol also sucks due to ADHD (the inattentive type). It can make me pretty "spacy", makes my attention worse, and makes my sleep worse, which makes all of the above worse again.
    Check out my thread I recently started- http://www.bluelight.ru/vb/threads/602913-I-m-done...

    Amps seemed to help me in the short run, but long-term abuse damages the receptors that you're already running low on which is the cause AS...

    I bought 7 grams of 60x Salvia the day before it became illegal in my state. It just scared the living fuck out of me and I trashed the rest.

    I've done small amounts of 2C-E, the visuals were pretty cool I didn't do enough to get to "that" plateau.

    I bought 'Obama-head' MDMA once, my friend said he had fun off of it but I couldn't feel shit even after 2 hits. Who knows. I have a MDMA hook up from a different source but after my thread I've created I've been trying to stay clean. Although with that said I wouldn't turn down Lucy if it was offered to me tomorrow.
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