Adderall Shortage Has Privileged White People Scrambling

The US has recently been experiencing a shortage of Adderall XR, a generic brand of Adderall manufactured by Shire Pharmaceuticals and sold to Teva Pharmaceuticals and Impax Laboratories, which mass produce it. The brand name Adderall is still in adequate supply throughout the country, but “some pharmacies don’t even carry [it],” according to Erin Fox, manager of the Drug Information Service at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City.

“Patients have had to run around to other pharmacies trying to find the generic, or try to get their insurance companies to cover the brand name product,” said Fox.

Adderall is typically used by children and adults to mitigate the symptoms of ADHD, but increasingly used both recreationally and as a study drug by college students and post grads trying to finish up their first contract. But apparently, there have been some “real” consequences. From the story over at abcnews:

“Oh gosh, I don’t know how I would function,” said Becky, a 52-year-old from Oshkosh, Wis., who’s been taking generic Adderall XR. “It helps me get up in the morning and get going. If I didn’t have it, I probably wouldn’t get up out of bed. I’d be so confused and my mind would be racing.”

Wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning without Adderall? Too confused… to get out of bed? Without Adderall? Jesus.

No, but really, there do seem to be some sad side effects to this whole thing: little boys not being able to sit through their piano lessons, academic problems, and side effects from switching to replacement drugs in the absence of Adderall-XR. I guess.

Edit: In the case that you do find yourself experiencing withdrawals from Adderall as a treatment for major depression because of this shortage, please be aware that free counseling is available. There’s a depression hotline at 1-630-482-9696 and a suicide hotline at 1-800-784-8433. TC mark

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  • http://heheheheheheheeheheheehehe.com/ tao

    'I probably wouldn’t get up out of bed…my mind would be racing'

    seems confusing

    • http://profiles.google.com/amaviena Amanda Viers

      “I don't know how I would function.” also seems to contribute to confusing and a lack of knowledge about life.

      • pouncertrouncer

        Lack of knowledge about life.  How old are you, 14?  You don’t know anything about life, sweetheart.  When you lose your spouse after 25 years of marriage and have to go back to work to support your family in spite of crippling RA ……when you have to take vistaril so you don’t scratch your skin off due to psoriasis and vistaril makes you so sleepy you can’t keep your eyes open….whatever little girl…..lack of knowledge about life, my ass. 

      • pouncertrouncer

        Lack of knowledge about life.  How old are you, 14?  You don’t know anything about life, sweetheart.  When you lose your spouse after 25 years of marriage and have to go back to work to support your family in spite of crippling RA ……when you have to take vistaril so you don’t scratch your skin off due to psoriasis and vistaril makes you so sleepy you can’t keep your eyes open….whatever little girl…..lack of knowledge about life, my ass. 

      • pouncertrouncer

        Lack of knowledge about life.  How old are you, 14?  You don’t know anything about life, sweetheart.  When you lose your spouse after 25 years of marriage and have to go back to work to support your family in spite of crippling RA ……when you have to take vistaril so you don’t scratch your skin off due to psoriasis and vistaril makes you so sleepy you can’t keep your eyes open….whatever little girl…..lack of knowledge about life, my ass. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/indiangiver Amanda Mae Viers

        Obviously not a serious statement. I can see you’re really smart. Really.

      • pouncertrouncer

        Lack of knowledge about life.  How old are you, 14?  You don’t know anything about life, sweetheart.  When you lose your spouse after 25 years of marriage and have to go back to work to support your family in spite of crippling RA ……when you have to take vistaril so you don’t scratch your skin off due to psoriasis and vistaril makes you so sleepy you can’t keep your eyes open….whatever little girl…..lack of knowledge about life, my ass. 

  • http://readywater.ca Readywater

    Two months following the end of the adderall party.



  • coffeeandinternets

    Ya'll, I can't even be snarky. Times like this I'm glad I live in NYC, where, I believe, most of the Adderall is funneled into drug stores and pharmacies.

    Can I function without amphetamine salts? Sure, and I try to do it as often as possible. But when you are scrambling to pay rent, find a job, finish grad school, and make someone love you, the Adderall sure helps take the anxiety edge off and keeps me motivated in my day to day life.

    Signed,

    The Person Who Is Completely Aware They're Using Prescription Medications As A Crutch

    • Pfft

      i need a doctor that will prescribe me that shit in nyc. i'm scared of wasting the money to go to one just to be told no.

  • aerie

    @coffeeandinternets: I fully agree with your sentiments. I'm not above self-honesty; in fact, I prefer it.

    Praise the ceiling cat that I take (and like) the immediate release tablets.
    Although, I have had difficulty in the past with pharms not stocking *anything but* the XR and I've had to go to several different pharm chains to get my script filled. Waaaaaah! *stomping my feet*

  • Andy88mail

    <3 adderall. i sell adderall . $300 a day, sweet.

    • Masha Sun

      sell me all your adderall

    • http://profiles.google.com/amaviena Amanda Viers

      underachiever. I bet you could make more. Just making enough to sustain your lifestyle, eh? Think big.

  • Truett

    Thus far, (20 years into life,) I *haven't* been able to function without my allotted prescriptions of Adderall and Vyvanse, and I very much hope that my Adult ADHD is not widely mistaken as “a lack of knowledge about life”, @google-8ad7bf8e4d40c00beac5ded211b06b00:disqus, or anything other than a deficiency in my Frontal Cortex which I have had since birth. It is a great shame that these medications are as widely misused as they are, because those of us who legitimately depend upon them would have very much preferred to not grow up being made feel incredibly guilty and shameful for taking the medications we need to be functioning members of our various societies.

    • Jon

      It’s amazing that there are are other people diagnosed with ADD that feel the exact same way as I do. It’s the ‘drug’ stigma and the abusers that cause the hardship.

      If we had a noticeable physical disability that affected our motor skills, nobody would question if we really needed the medication.

      It’s hard to be someone diagnosed with any sort of mental disability.

      • Patti

        I wasn’t diagnosed with ADHD until I was in my 40’s.  Until then I was unable to maintain my focus on anything for more than 5-10 minutes-not a good trait when you are a nurse.  Both of my sons have ADHD also and amazingly….none of us are priviledged “white” people. 

        Jon is right about the discrimination between physical and mental disabilities.  I have worked with the DD population since I was 18 and I have NEVER had anyone question if the various medications they take are really necessary but I have had to defend myself about my sons need for Adderall since they were little.  I am not a mom who didn’t spend time with her kids or wanted them medicated so I wouldn’t have to deal with their behaviors and I take offense to anyone that feels that is the only reason parents put their children on ADHD meds.  My sons are on ADHD meds because I love them  and I want nothing more than for them to be successful and I am smart enough to know that without their medication this wouldn’t be an attainable goal.

        I learned a long time ago that EVERYONE has some sort of disability…it’s just that not everybody’s is noticeable.

  • http://profiles.google.com/dianne.smallwood Dianne Smallwood

    ever since i lost my job (about a year ago), I had to switch f/the XR(after 3.5yrs) to the plain generic 30mg (2/day) tablets. WORST. CRASHES. EVER. and unlike before (shout out to becky in abc article) – i really(!!) need(?) to take one first thing in the morning, or there's no way i'm getting up…<sigh> SOCIALIZE MEDICAL INSURANCE, for realz. 
    </sigh>

  • Charles Au

    What are you trying to say?  Does the writer even know anything about ADHD?  That ADHD is a recognized psychiatric diagnosis and requires treatment, in order to improve functioning, social interactions, behavioural symptoms and educational quality of ADHD patients?  Does the writer understand that long-acting stimulants, such as Adderall XR, are the drugs of choice for ADHD?  Does the writer understand that for amphetamine salts, formulations are not bioequivalent, and that switching formulations for a distribution-related purpose, rather than for a medical reason, only causes stress and anxiety to patients?

    Rather than framing ADHD patients as “privileged white people,” maybe the author could do something productive with his time and investigate the real reason behind recent drug shortages, which have affected many patients on a trans-national scale (I am from Canada).

  • Guest

    I mean, I have ADD, and I on the days when I forget to take my adderall I perform noticeably worse at work (and also yawn a lot unless I drink a second coffee because it is an amphetamine). If my work compensation were based on performance, like if I were some sort of salesman or high school student or something, I would be having a markedly worse life.

  • http://www.coinoperatedgirl.net Crystal

    Adderall XR is not the generic of Adderall, they are seperate drugs.  Adderall XR is the long-acting version of Adderall, and while when you get down to the bottom of things they have the same active ingredient, each drug has its own generic.

    Also, in some areas the various strengths of both the immediate and extended release Ritalins are also in short supply.

  • http://staugustine2.wordpress.com/ STaugustine

    sad + terrifying =  someone's enormous profit margin

  • http://twitter.com/BrotherBear_Ry Ryan Culliver

    My roommate is a lazy sack of shit & he is on adderall & he takes it like everyday he has to wake up before 2pm, which is less often than you would think for a Junior in college. Anyhow, he takes it  & instantly starts playing dubstep & not being able to shut the fuck up.  But Adderall is good for finals & lit tests over ancient African lit, but I promise, you don't need it to wake up in the morning.     lit, but I promise, you don't need it to wake up in the morning.

  • mallory

    I completely understand Charles AU's disgruntled reaction to this trivial article.  This is really a very under-researched, and quite ignorant article because it fails to recognize the fact that Adderrall works differently for those of us who actually have ADHD(ADD). Anyone with legitimate Attention Deficit Disorder knows that  ADHD drugs don't produce the same hyperactive energy boost stimulus others without the disorder experience. In fact, the drug works quite contrary, in taming the mental chaos, and bringing more of a steady, calm, coherent mindset. While there are undoubtedly people out there who misuse Adderrall or simply use the stimulant as a crutch, what prescription drugs don't endure similar abuse? Maybe next time before you try to write a hipster bash piece, you should do a little bit more research on the topic bud. Because you pretty much look like an idiot. xoxo

  • Alanadunlap

    Some of us really can't get out of bed without it….  It sucks that people abuse it because it makes it more difficult for those of us who need it to be taken seriously.  It has literally saved my life.  I was on my third college (in three semesters), living back home, had never had a boyfriend or job before and wanted to died because I felt I was a failure.  Now five years later I am working on my Master's, own my own home, have been in a commited realtionship for three years and work a full time job helping children with mental illnesses.

  • Privleged White Guy

    I'd like to know why the writer played the race card? WTH does being “white” have to do with the shortage of this medication, or any other for that matter???

  • Anonymous

    I’m white and like to accomplish something every day and help provide for my family.

    Thanks, Adderall!

  • Yecats_nosyl

    I take Adderall and have been inconvenienced by the shortage . . . but I thought this was freakin’ hilarious! . . . not to mention largely true!

  • White Mom

    Considering that minority children are being drugged into submission at far higher rates than white children, the shortage is hardly about privilege. I’m a white woman who takes adderall to fight cancer-induced fatigue because my insurance won’t cover the more effective provigil. Both of my children were diagnosed ADHD when they were young, and after a brief stint with ritalin, I found there were more effective and less dangerous ways of teaching my children to manage. They aren’t reliant on drugs to function in college, unlike many of their peers. I have no sympathy for the woman who complains her son “fidgets” during piano lessons when my daughter used to go ballistic every time we stepped into a crowded store. Occupational therapy is a far more effective – and permanent – way of teaching children how to focus, but it takes effort, unlike popping a pill in your kid’s mouth. The day my second-grade daughter started complaining about how much ritalin hurt her stomach is the day I took her off for good. Sure, her grades weren’t as high, but where are our priorities? That was 15 years ago and my opposition to feeding kids amphetamines has only grown.

    I’m angry I can’t get the medicines I need to function because parents are too lazy to spend time with their kids. My 12 year old grandson struggles constantly in school, but because of her own experiences, my daughter and her husband refuse to put him on drugs and are taking the time and effort to teach him skills to manage on his own. It’s hard on all of them, but her determination is going to benefit a lot of children as she pursues a master’s degree in teaching. Who would you rather be in the classroom with your child – a drug happy control-freak, or someone who actually cares about your child? Again, minority children are far more likely to be put on drugs because some educator doesn’t like how they act. God forbid we should made an effort to reach them.

  • Rutledgerez

    Wow, I wish my name were BRAN-DON and I grew up as a privileged white kid so that I could give myself a false sense of grandeur by ridiculing others with a known medical condition. 

    Newsflash BRAAANNNN-DON Scott–ADHD is a crippling disorder for those who truly have it.  I guess you think my son would be better served by 18th century methods of drilling holes in in skull to release the “evil spirits”?  You are truly an asshole.  I wish you could spend one week with my son (who, by the way has been diagnosed by a great pediatric neurologist) and see what fun it is for him to have ADHD. 

    Why don’t you try subscribing to Medline and reading at least one of the plethora of peer-reviewed medical journal articles detailing brain imaging studies which prove the existence of KNOWN (no longer postulated) dysfunctional brain development in persons with ADHD.   Oh, wait, I know why.  Because you would probably need help looking up most of the words (I can surmise that from the way that your post is written to cater to, at the most, someone with a 3rd grade education.)

  • Chris

    So if there were article that was posted “crack shortage has hoodlum parses scurrying for a fix!” it would be racist but you happily post white people as the target? Your article is supposedly focussing on Adderol but with a title lime that it suffers otherwise, but what do expect from a pathetic, medieocre “journalist” such as yourself simply using racey headlines to attract livid and offended readers.

  • Michael

    Without my meds, I can’t concentrate, I can’t organize my thoughts at all.

    I can not read more than three lines. I can not remember what I’m doing half the time. 
    If I get up to go get a coffee it can take up to 12 different trips towards the kitchen to even get the pot brewing.
    I get distracted by anything and everything. 
    I have tried every mode of compensation available, but I am not able to function without my medication, and it is medication. 

    I’m not white, nor a girl and I don’t live in the suburbs.My medication is not a glorified pick-me-up prescribed to me because I’m a privileged white person.My medication is prescribed to me because it’s the only thing that makes it possible for me to actually get something done. I didn’t get diagnosed as a child. I was given everything from well-meant but ultimately useless “advice” on how to do better at school to physical beatings along with verbal beat downs for being a “useless, lazy faggot”. 
    I am currently in school, because I can actually read now, and complete assignments. I am in my longest surviving relationship right now, which is 3 months old, cause someone can finally stand to be around me cause I’m not crawling up the walls at all times with yet another distraction.
    I haven’t been fired for neglecting to show up at work since I started taking my medication.

    I’m living, almost like a normal person!

    So, thank you for your comments. It is obvious you don’t live with ADD/ADHD nor people who suffer from it.

  • Karen Hallett

    you have no idea what you are talking about so stop with this hate speech its disgusting

  • Davebeck52

    Using the race card acheived exactly what was intended.  To get you to click and read.  It’s not about the article or adderall, it’s about selling advertising and making money. 
    Next article will probably be about a shortage of grits has red neck southerners scrambling to find a grocery store that stocks them.
    Lighten up, take a breath and take an adderall.

  • Tent Jack

    Yes I have ADHD and have never earned more than $15 per hour in my life. The most I ever had in my bank account was $2,400. Which lasted for one day. I slept on a couch throughout 2010 paying $100 per month. My parents did not graduate from college. Oh yeah, I’m white. 

  • Kokopelli

    I take Adderall as the only med that has successfully treated my major depression after 25 years of trial and error with every antidepressant, mood stabilizer, and therapeutic approach on the market. It literally gets me out of bed in the morning and, I would say, even keeps me alive. Is that a privilege? You  provide numbers for depression and suicide hotlines. Thanks. Shall I call them everyday? Perhaps they hold a key for day-to-day living that I and my psychiatrists have missed? Hmm, what are the odds?

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