Why Is There an Adderall Shortage? Because Demand Exceeds Supply. Duh.

The Great Adderall Shortage of 2011, noted last spring by Mike Riggs, continues to frustrate millions of Americans who depend on the stimulant, a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, to focus and function. It's the generic, immediate-release version of the drug, which comes in tablets, that is hardest to find. Shire, the company that developed Adderall, no longer makes the tablets, but it does sell extended-release capsules (Adderall XR), and it says "current inventories of all strengths of ADDERALL XR® are sufficient to meet patient demand." That brand-name version is more expensive, however, and may not be covered by insurance plans. Other possible substitutes, such as Vyvanse, Provigil, and Focalin, are also more expensive, because they are relatively new and still under patent, and may be less effective. The upshot is people desperately scrambling to find Adderall tablets for themselves or their ADHD-diagnosed kids, calling one drugstore after another, and bursting into tears at pharmacists' counters. Advice columnist Amy Alkon writes:

That was me, boohooing like a baby on and off on Tuesday afternoon, because just as my writing life has changed so substantially in such positive ways, those gains are likely going to be taken away from me if those shortages don't end....

The drug I was taking for many years for ADHD, Ritalin, never worked that well on me, but I only discovered that after I started seeing this doctor that I came to feel I could trust on science. I finally confessed to him that it had become almost physically painful for me in struggling to concentrate throughout my writing day, and that I was contemplating taking Ritalin with Mucinex to boost my focus. Bad idea, he said, and prescribed me Adderall to see how it worked.

Like Ritalin, Adderall is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, but it also pushes a little dopamine out into the brain, and apparently, I really need that D. The first day I took my first Adderall was the best writing day I've had in 20 years. I used to have a tornado of shit whirling around my head at all times, and it stopped and put itself neatly away in cabinets when I took this drug. After years of struggling to pay attention, suddenly, all I had to do to focus was decide to focus, and I found creative decision-making and managing a lot of information, if not easy, tasks I could manage if I worked at them.

The supply of Adderall is ultimately controlled by the Drug Enforcement Administration, which allocates amphetamine quotas to pharmaceutical companies. But the DEA insists it is not responsible for the shortage:

"We've given them quota sufficient to meet the needs and then it's up to them how they manufacture their product," said Gary Boggs, a supervisory special agent for the Office of Diversion for the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.

Company business decisions surrounding competition, marketing -- and profit margins -- are behind many of the troubles that patients have encountered, Boggs added. Manufacturers might make more of an expensive brand-name drug and not enough of a generic version. Or they may distribute too much product in one place, causing a shortage somewhere else.

"This isn't just a clean there is either product or not product," Boggs said. "There's a whole lot of different dynamics in here."

Meanwhile, manufacturers of generic Adderall, a.k.a. "amphetamine mixed salts immediate-release tablets," cite "increase in demand" (Sandoz and CorePharma) or "API [active pharmaceutical ingredient] supply issues" (Teva) as explanations for the shortage. Those are two ways of saying the same thing: Demand exceeds supply—i.e., there's a shortage. Why is there a shortage? Because there's a shortage! Duh.

Notwithstanding the DEA's denials, it should be obvious that if the government did not insist on getting between people and the drugs they want, supply would meet demand, as it tends to do in a free market. Trying to figure out why there is a shortage of a government-controlled substance is like trying to figure out why the Soviet Union did not have enough windshield wiper blades to replace ones that wore out. At some point, a central planner miscalculated, as they tend to do. According to MSNBC, manufacturers "say that as they receive their new DEA allocations in the new year, the shortages may subside."

For the sake of Alkon and all the others whose lives have been senselessly disrupted by the government's pharmacological edicts, I hope that's true. But this episode highlights the arbitrariness of the distinctions at the root of the war on drugs. A recent story in the Tampa Bay Times suggests a few explanations for the Adderall shortage:

Doctors blame the shortage of generic Adderall (which is also known as mixed amphetamine salts) on the fact that more kids and adults are being diagnosed with ADHD. Estimates for ADHD patients range from 5 million to 15 million, with the number increasing about 5 percent a year.

But others say it's also because more people than ever are abusing the drug, including students who use it to stay awake and cram for tests.

Another category of abuse: If an addict can't get oxycodone, Adderall is viewed by some as a reasonable alternative, said Dan Fucarino, owner of Carrollwood Pharmacy.

Whether or not people really do view a stimulant like amphetamine/dextroamphetamine as interchangeable with a narcotic like oxycodone, Adderall used for unapproved purposes comes mainly from legitimate prescriptions. The implication is that doctors are overdiagnosing and/or overprescribing, a pretty tricky call to make when dealing with an objectively unverifiable psychiatric condition like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Notice that the Tampa Bay Times, hewing to prohibitionist orthodoxy, describes using Adderall to study for an exam as "abusing the drug"—unless, of course, the student has jumped through the requisite hoops, saying the right things to qualify for a diagnosis and earn the magical slip of paper that transforms abuse into medicine. Why empower doctors to decide who "really" needs Adderall when adults should be able to decide that for themselves?

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  • BakedPenguin||

    Well, there's always Pollos Hermanos.

  • sarcasmic||

    July 17th! Yeah!

  • Ska||

    *adjusts tie*

    *looks into camera*

  • ||

    Chicken Brothers? Is that a chain?

  • sarcasmic||

    A fictional one in the best tv show ever.

  • ||

    Ah, I see. I haven't seen any episodes. Not yet, anyway.

  • sarcasmic||

    I caught a few episodes when it first came out, but didn't keep up on it. Then after getting a dvr they started playing it up before the upcoming season. So I caught up and cant wait for the fifth and *sniff* final season.

  • ||

    One time, for grins, I used Provigil to stay awake for three days. Got tired, but never got sleepy.

  • ||

    I took that for a year. There is nothing appealing about it. None of the euphoria of alternatives, it makes food not taste good (yay weight loss, boo lack of pleasure in life), and increases anxiety.

  • ||

    About the only side effects I had from Provigil was that I felt more sociable and I would get nasty headaches when it wore off. But I only used it occasionally until I used up the 100 tablets I had.

  • ||

    "We've given them quota sufficient to meet the needs and then it's up to them how they manufacture their product," said Gary Boggs, a supervisory special agent for the Office of Diversion for the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.

    Okay, then.

    Nanny knows best.

  • *||

    Not to nitpick, but here's some nitpicking:

    "Because Demand Exceeds Supply" is a totally meaningless phrase.

    "The amount demanded exceeds the amount supplied would be an improvement, but begs the question - at what price - that is at the heart of the shortage.

    The amount demanded exceeds the amount supplied at the current price, because the current price is F*cked up due to price controls, and production controls. And distribution controls. And who-pays-for-what controls. And usage controls. And [insert term here] controls.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Two can play the empty pedantry game. I do not think that "begging the question" means what you think it means.

  • ||

    "Because Demand Exceeds Supply" is a totally meaningless phrase.

    I heard someone else make that point earlier. How did it go? Oh, yeah, right.

    Why Is There an Adderall Shortage? Because Demand Exceeds Supply. Duh.

  • ||

    Demand exceeding supply or supply exceeding demand are somewhat important concepts in economics. I'm not sure I see how they could be relegated to the meaningless pile.

  • ||

    Stop begging the question.

  • *||

    "Demand exceeding supply or supply exceeding demand" is a meaningless concept in economics. There's Demand, and there's Supply, which are each schedules of amounts demanded or supplied along ranges of price. One schedule can't "exceed" another. The amount demanded at a given price can be higher than the amount supplied at that price. That's what a shortage is. "Demand exceeding Supply" is nonsense. But I repeat myself.

    Are you going to Post-Coital Rat's party? I'll draw you a diagram. It'll be off the hook.

  • Brett L||

    Unless prices aren't allowed to float. Which is the case we have here because most insurance companies have a locked-in, multi-year contract on drug pricing. You sound like the Keynesians, telling half the story and wondering why things don't add up.

  • *||

    You sound like a tool. Here's what I wrote just a few comments earlier:

    "The amount demanded exceeds the amount supplied at the current price, because the current price is F*cked up due to price controls, and production controls. And distribution controls. And who-pays-for-what controls. And usage controls. And [insert term here] controls."

  • ||

    Tell us more.

  • Brett L||

    Your Aspberger's is showing, starman.

  • ||

    It's spelled Ass-Burgers, moron.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Sounds like there is an artificial cap on supply, so your price complaint is misplaced. If the government were capping the price, then your statement would work.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Artificial caps on supply tend to result in a black market, which is exactly what the war on drugs is intended to do.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Yes, this is true every trip of the train. However, from the article there is no evidence of a black market attempting to increase supply, like say the cocaine market. It is a controlled production item and the players appear to stick with the government set quotas.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    The black market has attempted to increase the supply of meth, which is extremely similar to amphetamine (if given a choice most people want to buy meth, not amphetamine or dex).

    Of course the DEA and much of local law enforcement consider meth #2 priority (after marijuana of course).

  • Post-Coital Rat||

    I wonder if Asterisk would come to my New Year's Eve party. It's looking like it might be a bit dull this year, but conversation this precise is just the excitement every partygoer anticipates!

  • *||

    I doubt you're funky enough to handle me at one of your parties. Are you? ARE YOU?

  • Post-Coital Rat||

    Sadly, no. <hangs head>

  • ||

    How many members of the Supreme Soviet (or their staffs) have trouble getting their hands on the stuff?

  • ||

    This is at the heart of it. If Senator Asshole's little darling needs Adderall, they will get it. If Senator Asshole's old injury hurts badly, they will get painkillers.

    The peasants? Fuck them.

  • Hugh Akston||

    "Beat it, kids! Come back when you've got connections!"

  • ||

    "So am I gonna get lucky tonight or what?"

  • ||

    The Senator's old asshole injury is very minor, thank you very much.

  • ||

    What I learned here is every public official should be knee capped for our own good.

  • ||

    Hey, if you're not willing to get maimed for the good of your country...

  • ||

    Notice that the Tampa Bay Times, hewing to prohibitionist orthodoxy, describes using Adderall to study for an exam as "abusing the drug"

    Also notice that the Tampa Bay Times, aka the St. Petersburg Times, runs no fewer than two front page articles a week encouraging agents of the state to completely manage everyone's decision on what they chose to put in their body.

    At the same time they are utterly predictable in their belief that further intervention by the government in healthcare will drive costs down and abortion and contraception for 12-year olds are decisions that should involve only the individual. Complete, statist fucktards.

  • ||

    I concur. I also think renaming the paper is a dim move, as it's just going to confuse people about which paper is which. The Tribune used to have an evening paper called The Tampa Times, to make things even worse.

  • ||

    The first day I took my first Adderall was the best writing day I've had in 20 years.

    Well, no shit.

    When I could get my hands on dexies I could crap out a five page essay with correctly formatted citations in like an hour and get an 'A'.

  • Brett L||

    And for some reason this is considered 'bad'. Because kids might use it to play Skyrim for 47 hours straight instead. Or something.

  • ||

    I wish steam wouldn't count time I leave the game tabbed out (usually while I sleep). I'm up to 250hours already.

  • Brett L||

    You don't have to tell those little white lies around here. Hell, my roommate picked up Oblivion off my shelf about the time Skyrim came out. I haven't been able to use the TV since. I can only imagine what will happen when he finishes ESIV and starts Skyrim -- which someone gave him as a Christmas gift. As of now, he's currently going to work and bathing regularly... I worry Skyrim might break him of those habits.

  • ||

    no white lying, seriously. at least 72 hours of that total is tab-out time. well, at least 48hrs. ok, maybe 36.

  • ||

    Oblivion is like a game of tic-tac-toe compared to Skyrim. Skryim is so massive that there is a material risk each time you play that the game will collapse into a singularity.

  • Brett L||

    Crap. Seriously, he may quit sleeping and/or blinking if it is that much better.

  • ||

    Be sure to apply eye drops to his unblinking eyes every few minutes. And to have an IV hooked up to supply nutrients.

  • ||

    blinking? only every 16.7ms.

  • ||

    *only on multiples of 16.7ms

    ftfm

  • burnt||

    No shit, I passed out the first night on pause and when I picked it up the next day I was at like 32 hours.

  • ||

    I'm surprised they haven't put it into the water supply. Don't they want everyone to be productive?!

  • ||

    everyone being mega-productive would eliminate jobs through efficiency.

    Why do you hate jobs?

  • Brett L||

    Believe me, some of the state workers in Tallahassee couldn't be productive on a cocaine-adderall IV drip.

  • ||

    the mix requires some sort of pinacollada/daiquiri/margarita component to combat the heat.

  • Brett L||

    Smack. Takes the edge off and cools you down.

  • ||

    you don't get paper umbrellas with heroin though. they're kinda key to the effect.

  • Brett L||

    I concede. cocaine-adderall drips with a margarita bar for everyone.

  • ||

    And reclining lawn chairs.

  • ||

    (strings of decorative chili-shaped lights are optional)

  • Brett L||

    "(strings of decorative chili-shaped lights are optional)"

    Tallahassee ain't Key West, son. However, we do have about 35000 co-eds between 2 universities and a community college that people go to in order to attend FSU.

  • Brett L||

    You've gone too far now! I'm putting my foot down.

  • ||

    You've gone too far now!

    The paper umbrellas do that to me.

  • Masheen||

    Maybe if it had electrolytes...

  • DJF||

    Maybe Gingrich should talk to Amy Alkon’s doctor? Maybe then he could focus on being in favor of the same policy more then two days in a row.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Maybe Amy could see Dr. Ron Paul and have him score some from Bethesda Naval Hospital.

  • DJF||

    Paul won’t even sign up for his Congressional pension so I doubt if he has access to government drugs.

  • juris imprudent||

    when adults should be able to decide that for themselves?

    That kind of crazy talk shows how out of the mainstream you are, not to mention not decent. I think the SPLC needs to keep an eye on you.

  • CalebT||

    Isn't Boggs such an appropriate name for a government bureaucrat?

  • sarcasmic||

    Sinéad O'Connor's marriage is already over.

    Sorry guys, but Irish law requires four years of separation before granting divorce.

    :-(

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvs.....Vegas.html

  • Mike M.||

    My eyes!

  • AlmightyJB||

    She used to be kinda hot. Thats sad.

  • B.P.||

    "Other possible substitutes, such as Vyvanse, Provigil, and Focalin..."

    Mmmm... sciencey sounding. Whoever is naming these drugs needs to be fired.

  • KDN||

    The laws of economics don't apply to healthcare. Stupid libertards.

  • Statist Prick||

    I was signed up for an economics class, but I had to drop it in order to take the women's studies course my advisor told me to take...Who knew I was such a slobbering, sexist neanderthal?! Now, I respect women!

  • sarcasmic||

    Likely you would have been fed a bunch of Keynesian macro bullshit which, unless you unlearned it, would have left you as just another useful idiot.

  • Women Studies Course Dropout.||

    I especially respect woman with big tits

  • Jamal||

    How did I fail women's studies? I love bitches!

  • Appalachian Australian||

    The Feministing crowd seems to be figuring out that the police only protect the state and themselves, not the weak.

    There may be hope for enlightenment yet. Unfortunately, they aren't talking yet about how to enforce "violence against women laws" without police.

  • sarcasmic||

    Most people don't know that the police couldn't give a shit less about them until they are a victim of a crime.
    Commit a victimless crime and they're quite interested.
    Victims? Not so much.

  • DJF||

    They will put up that crime scene tape all over the neighborhood. And if you are lucky they will write up a crime report that either you or your next of kin and file with your insurance company

  • sarcasmic||

    After noticing a different attitude from law enforcement in the state I live in vs the one I moved from I did a little research.
    Where I live now 100% of forfeited assets go to the Secretary of State, and burden of proof is on the police.
    Where I came from it was all kept by the departments, and burden of proof was on the owner to prove themselves innocent before getting their property back.

    No wonder the cops were suck dicks. All they cared about was taking people's shit. Crimes with victims didn't buy them new toys, so they couldn't give a fuck less.

    God I hate cops.

  • ||

    You're missing some key information here. The supply is -artificially- constrained.

    For a couple of years now Shire PLC has been manufacturing adderall for sale by the generic drug companies. It has something to do with some bogus lawsuit Shire won which forced the generic companies to stop making the off-patent drug, but "preserving competition" by obligating Shire to make it for the generic companies to sell. Shire is intentionally keeping supply low, thus increasing prices, in an effort to get more take up of their newer on-patent drugs, which they earn a much higher margin on.

    The generic companies will have to go through a lengthy lawsuit to stop the nonsense, meanwhile patients get sick of shortages and see that brand name alternatives are not much more expensive with their heavily subsidized insurance coverage.

  • ||

    Interesting. Can you provide a source for this information?

  • ||

    You've explained it very well and it's basically just what my doctor told me. Big Pharma playing games for profit and they could care less about the actual people who need the medications- the same people that pay insurance premiums for their meds or pay out of pocket! In otherwords biting the hand that feeds them. How long can this continue to work as a business model?

  • ||

    Black market for Adderall in 5...4...3...

  • ||

    The black market already existed. The supply is just more constrained now, so higher 'resale' prices, and more sales of alternatives like ritalin, provigil, dex, and probably meth.

  • Termites of 2011||

    Sounds like the DEA drumming up business for itself.

  • ||

    Now you're getting it. Some people just don't understand how to be successful, sheesh.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    We Can’t Wait: Obama Administration Takes Action to Reduce Prescription Drug Shortages, Fight Price Gouging

    President Issues Executive Order, Backs Legislation to Require Drug Companies to Report Shortages

    I can't wait until the Health Commissar arranges to increase industrial output of aspirin 250%. Meanwhile, Obama's DEA will continue to actually cause these drug shortages while his FDA claims to be trying to fix it.

  • squishua||

    Wow, what a timely article! And it's not just Adderall - I've been prescribed Ritalin for the past 4 years and several pharmacies told me their supplier has been out for the past few weeks!

    Somehow I knew government regulations were to blame! Arrrgh!

  • ¢||

    and probably meth

    I've done straight-up trailer-fire meth twice, both times for a reason people who take Adderall say they take Adderall: a willpower-exceeding pile of deadline-sensitive shit I had to get done.

    It works.

    (Side effects may include irritability, joint pain, boners, and Pantera.)

  • ||

    The finest choice in white-trash metal.

  • Brett L||

    If that's not old Monster Magnet, you are wrong. (I can't youtube at work.)

  • ||

    It was Pantera. MM is better, true, but Pantera is white-trashier.

  • burnt||

    Why has no one taken pantera's place?
    there aren't any great white trash metal bands anymore, they all turned into bleeding pussies.

  • ||

    The closest thing would be Lamb of God, I guess. And they fucking suck.

  • ||

    How about Down?

  • Brett L||

    Very acceptable.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    I once snorted molly that turned out to be meth. My nose bled for five days.

  • Name Withheld||

    I snorted meth I thought was meth - it was sort of like coke without the fun.

  • ||

    Perfect description of amphetamines. Coke without the euphoria. Well, good coke without the euphoria. Shitty coke is mostly amphetamines in the first place.

  • ||

    No way Epi, amphetamines totally produce euphoria. Maybe not to the extent of that powdered sugar, but I'll be damned if it doesn't make you a bit of a megalomaniac.

  • ||

    Amphetamines give me zero euphoria. (Good) coke gives me tons.

    Your mileage may vary.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm with Epi on this.

  • ||

    Well maybe I'm just a bit of a megalomaniac on my own then.

  • sarcasmic||

    aye

  • ||

    Some of us take it just to kick ass, every damn day. It's a consolation prize for neurological disorders.

  • Hillbilly Junk||

    We've given them quota sufficient to meet the needs and then it's up to them how they manufacture their product

    So they purposely underdefine "needs" and so people are forced to do other things which may include black market-type shit and then they can bust the black marketeers for fun and profit.

    The DEA is pure evil.

  • ||

    We've given them quota sufficient to meet the needs and then it's up to them how they manufacture their product

    Try it with a German accent. Much better:

    "Ve haf giffen zem a qvota . . ."

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    Zis.

  • Brett L||

    I love Kickstarter. Some guy raised $14k to remaster "Manos, the Hands of Fate" in about a week.

    Its a great place, America.

  • Hacha Cha||

    I had to search 4 pharmacies till I could find a place that had ritalin in stock. Last month I found one, this month I couldn't get the entire prescription filled. Its because the government won't let the pharmaceutical companies make enough medicine.

  • ||

    I love my adderall. I also love my permission slip from the Dr. & my girlfriend pharmacy tech. Wally world always has my pillz!

  • charon||

    Mr. Sullum --

    I'm surprised you don't mention anything about the apparent RITALYN shortage. (I have a prescription and purchase about once every two months.) I've had some trouble finding stores carrying Ritalyn, and multiple pharmacists have told me there's a shortage thanks to (who else) the DEA.

  • ||

    PATIENTS are not fully informed consumers and cannot make these choices on their own, at this juncture.
    Further, most if not everyone will feel better on Adderall. Most if not everyone will feel that they can focus better.
    basically all Americans could be taking this and feeling better, which is why the last sentence in this paragraph makes no real sense.: Why empower doctors to decide who "really" needs Adderall when adults should be able to decide that for themselves?

  • ||

    PATIENTS are not fully informed consumers

    Gatekeeping, it's a wonderful thing...wait, what?

  • whattheh||

    "Another category of abuse: If an addict can't get oxycodone, Adderall is viewed by some as a reasonable alternative, said Dan Fucarino, owner of Carrollwood Pharmacy."

    WHAT? What the hell kind of moron is this guy? I have never ever heard of amphetamines being a "reasonable alternative" for an opioid addict. Trust me, when you're a dope fiend and you can't get your drug of choice, amphetamines are the LAST thing you want to be taking.

  • ||

    Carrollwood Pharmacy? Now there's an obscure quote. That's like the only not-CVS/Walgreens/Walmart/Target/Etc. pharmacy in North Tampa, I think. Been around forever, too.

  • Brett L||

    I feel like I'm coming out of my skin FASTER!

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    And with more focus. Don't forget the more focus.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    It occurs to me that some bright bulb figured that by restricting the supply of [stuff] they could insure that only the legitimate users--who expect to pay the price in the catalog--would get it because there would be none left over for the black-market users--at least some of whom will pay whatever it takes.

    Yeah. Uh...that's a great idea, Einstein.

    I do believe that one of the regulars around here likes to say that foreseeable consequences are not unintended. I think I'm going with that in this case.

  • Hacha Cha||

    This happens every year around December.

  • Matt||

    Would it be too late to make a heartfelt plea to those here to be very careful before you take these drugs? This is coming from someone who has taken Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta (Ritalin XR), and Straterra at various points in my life.

    Generally in order to get these drugs you need to see a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist will give you a few tests that measure your concentration (showing you 10 random pictures and having me repeat what I saw in order afterwards was one of the test they gave me). In my case there was also a Rorschach ink blot test. Then the psychiatrist (assuming you scored low enough in your tests) will diagnose you with a chemical imbalance and will prescribe you with medication.

    What they will NOT do is send you to a lab. Why not? If you supposedly have a dopamine or neorepinephine deficiency shouldn't you go to a lab to confirm it? This is generally what real doctors do, but the Psych won't. This doesn't mean you DON'T have a chemical imbalance, but it is suspicious. You don't get diagnosed with cancer by filling out a questionnaire.

    Sure the drugs might help you concentrate, but that doesn't mean you have a chemical deficiency, and it also doesn't mean that you should be taking them. In my experience the drugs did help with my schoolwork (at least the Concerta did), but it had grave consequences with my health. Concerta works for 12 hours, and during that time I had no appetite. Trying to eat anything was like trying to scarf down a bowl of sawdust after a massive thanksgiving meal.

    So don't dismiss the drugs entirely, but be sure you are going into this with both eyes open.

  • ||

    it is certainly true that in a person who does not have ADHD (or any other disorder) that amphetamines (or even caffeine) up to a certain dosage level WILL help one's ability to focus, etc.

    heck, several studies have shown that caffeine improves test taking ability, for example

    speed helps all sorts of physical and mental activities, in "normal people"

  • Matt||

    The ADHD drugs on the market are very similar to the street drug known as "speed":

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amphetamine

    And I'm sure they help some people take tests. My grades did improve while I was on the drug. But effectiveness does not mean that the diagnosis was correct or that you should be taking the drug. If an Advil cures the symptoms of your headache that does not mean the headache was caused by an ibuprofen deficiency.

    Remember, "effective" does not necessarily mean "desireable".

  • ||

    Matt,
    Wikipedia is the last place to site as a reliable source, especially when it comes to this topic. Anyone has the ability to change and manipulate the data at anytime. And yes "amphetamine" is speed, however, what is sold on the streets are "meth-amphetamines". There is a substantial difference in the chemical components as well. While the street drug is intended to provide a chemical high, adderall is intended to stimulate chemicals that are not being produced at sufficient levels. Ignorance is not an excuse for hyperbole. Also, if you test positive for Adderall in a drug test, you won't lose your job or be prevented from employment unless you're abusing it and have no legal reason for having it in your posession/system, as with "speed" or "methamphetamines".

  • ||

    Quite possibly, many of the early Prohibitionists did not intend to kill hundreds of thousands worldwide, or put 1 in every 30 American adults under supervision of the correctional system. But similar to our "Great Experiment" of the 1920s, the prohibition of various other drugs has once again spawned rampant off-the-scale criminality & corruption, a bust economy, mass unemployment, a mind-boggling incarceration rate, a civil war in Mexico, an un-winnable war in Afghanistan and an even higher rate of drug-use (both legal & illegal) than in all other countries that have far more sensible policies.

  • ||

    "If an addict can't get oxycodone, Adderall is viewed by some as a reasonable alternative, said Dan Fucarino..."

    Mr. Fucarino is unqualified to be a pharmacist, that much is assured.

  • ||

    ADHD is not a vague psychological disorder but a genetically inherited disorder linked to the same gene as manic depression. Adderall works because the salt added is in short supply in the brain. Brain scans demonstrate the presence of ADHD though a battery of less expensive but accurate test are available. Only 5% of the population should be identified with this gene.

  • ||

    I remember desperately trying to score some white cross back in college every time exams came around. Focused the mind like a razor, kept it focused continuously for up to four or five 24-hour days, removed the need for all of those time-wasting meals . . .

    And now, today, paid for completely by my insurer and delivered directly to my door in huge pill bottles every three months, I get high-dose quantities of pharmacy-quality amphetamines, with none of the headache-inducing impurities of the old white cross - for every single day of the year!

    Is this a great country, or what!

  • ||

    "The implication is that doctors are overdiagnosing and/or overprescribing, a pretty tricky call to make when dealing with an objectively unverifiable psychiatric condition like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder." Just thought that whoever wrote this should know that ADD/ADHD is not a psychiatric condition. It's neurological and has to do with a chemical imbalance in the brain. Psychiatrists are able to prescribe meds and monitor their effects on people with ADD/ADHD but a neurologist is probably a better doctor to go to if you have ADD/ADHD.

  • ||

    yes you will 'focus' better taking adderall. I took adderall for 15 years, 90mg/day. I finally decided to stop when I got tired of the side effects. yes, there are side effects. also, I realized that adderall frequently made me a real a**hole---I had little patience for co-workers who weren't following my stream of consciousness at the speed of light and I had lost the ability to work through the normal give and take required to solve problems by actually working with others rather than steamrolling them into my opinion. have I lost some productivity by quitting the drugs? yes. but I have improved my relationships and I actually get rest when I sleep at night. Oh, and no more sweating, etc..

  • revolt of the imbeciles||

    Phil - Indeed, I'd expect boatloads of side effects when taking that amount! For those not familiar: while different people require greatly varying levels to achieve effectiveness, 90mg of Adderall is what you'd call a "heroic dose." In some cases amounts like that are prescribed, but I believe the recommended daily max for ADHD is 40mg, and 60mg for narcolepsy.

  • kim kraus||

    the doctors in michigan give their patient adderall for energy not because they have ADHD. i don't have ADHD my doctor gives it to me for energy.

  • Energy/||

    kim do you have narcolepsy? Adderall is also prescribed for that

  • david nowell||

    This represents a very real crisis, and also an occasion to think about the non-medication approaches to managing ADHD: http://goo.gl/2YPW4

  • ||

    This Writer is a IDIOT.
    So much so that Im wondering if this is even the persons opinion.

    You give 4 reasons for the adderall shortage. 1 is shortage and the other 3 are over use. HA Sh+T

    If you read legit articles you will see high members of the DEA and the pharm comps point the finger at each other(and not a SHORTAGE) in fact the they say ITS NOT ABOUT A SHORTAGE (SO IS THIS WHERE YOU GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT AND WRITE A NEW ARTICLE YOU SHORT SIGHTED FOOL!!!

  • ||

    I had a similar experience as stated in the article. For most of my life I thought I was restless, dumb, flighty, fidgety, unable to process thoughts cohesively or have a sustainable conversation. I thought I was retarded! I went to a doctor who asked if I'd ever been diagnosed with ADHD and I stated when I was in first grade. But my mom didn't want me on Ritalin. When I took my first Adderall more than 15 years ago, I couldn't believe the difference! I was able to sit still and concentrate for long periods of time. I actually went back to school and obtained my Bachelors degree with a B+ Gpa. This after graduating from High School with an embarrassing 1.9 GPA. At 48 I am outraged that the Federal Government controls what meds I take. These past several months since the shortage began my doctor has prescribed alternative treatments which have not provided any benefit as the adderall. I've spent more than $300 in the past 2 months on Vyvanse and Adderall XR. For those who say pharmacies have plenty of Brand Adderall? Pharmacists must be lying to me all over town. I'm told no generic and no name brand.

  • ||

    I cannot believe how many of you think that it is the Government that is the controling entity in matters like this. Uncle Sam has been sitting on the sidelines with a full dance card, kowtowing to"Big Pharma" ect. for many moons now! They havn't called a real shot since at least the sixties...

  • ||

    I switched from Adderall to AddieUp, which it gives me energy and helps me focus but doesn't get you over stimulated because its natural. I'm doing fine without the weird effects that people sometimes get from Adderall or other stimulants so it may be worth a try for some people. However, nothing is going to Zing you along like pure amphetamine salts which are what Adderall is however, that doesnt have a nice ring to it so Im trying alternatives ck it at www.addieup.com

  • ||

    My son is also one of the people affected by this shortage. We have tried him on the drug Concerta, but it just doesn't work as well as the Adderall. My husband and I have watched him go from making great strides in school,to not hardly being able to focus long enough to put on is shoes. This shortage has really affected his education.If there was a way for me to shake some sense into the people causing this I would!

  • Bossman||

    Welp i guess my Ochem class will be of some benefit.. lets just start labs at our houses and make the stuff!

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