Adderall and Me


Kaleigha Arrington

Millions of people worldwide rely on Adderall to combat symtoms of ADHD or other disorders.

Kaleigha Arrington, Editor in Chief

On Oct. 12, 2022, the FDA released a statement that Adderall, a drug used to help those with ADHD, is going through a supply shortage. The FDA is currently working with manufacturers to address the need for medication but cannot keep up with the high demand due to a significant lack of supplies.

Since then the shortage has continued to grow and is still affecting millions of Americans.

The FDA is currently posting information on the shortage which includes manufacturers that still have the prescription available and their dosage. Teva Pharmasuiticles, one of the leading sellers of Adderall, reports that its three most popular dosages 10mg, 20mg, and 30mg are due for restocking in March of 2023.

While some manufacturers have at least some of the prescriptions in stock, many are struggling to keep up with the growing demand. Many users of Adderall have talked to their doctors about using alternatives like Vyvamind, Adzenys, and Mydayis though it has not been officially recommended by the FDA.

The shortage has also put pressure on hospitals and doctors alike. The NCPA conducted a survey between Oct. 19-31 that reported 89% of pharmacies were experiencing an Adderall shortage. Users of the drug have reported that CVS and Walgreens have been struggling to keep the stimulant  Currently, the FDA is in communication with health professionals to consider other stimulants than Adderall.

NBC News interviewed another company saying that there will be “supply constraints through January.”

More than 10% of children from ages 12-17 have received an ADHD diagnosis and over 60% of them are currently receiving medication for it. This number has also risen a considerable amount since quarantine, prescriptions for Adderall have increased by 16% since the beginning of last year.

Since the shortage, I haven’t been able to refill my prescription as often as I previously would. I’ve been rationing how much I use so I don’t run out as quickly. Saving it for days I have a big test or do something that I know would require more than my usual attention span. Having to choose when and where to take it stresses me out and definitely spikes my anxiety.

Adderall really does help when doing everyday tasks. Simple things such as remembering to do chores, focusing on schoolwork, or studying for an upcoming test become extremely difficult for some patients who are off the medicine. Writing down lists of things I need to do is sometimes helpful, but staying on those tasks is a struggle without my prescription.

Whenever I’m off my medication for more than a few days, I become more irritable, tired, and have frequent mood swings throughout the day. This hinders my ability to perform my best at school and be helpful to my family at home. While I’m still a student, adults affected by these withdrawal symptoms may face greater and more dangerous consequences.

Though ADHD presents differently depending on the person, the most common symptoms are inattention, forgetfulness, hyperactivity, and lack of organizational skills.

“I mainly struggled with staying focused on assignments and on the task at school, at home, I can’t sit still for too long, or I’ll get bored too quick” Micheal Patterson (‘24) stated, a student struggling with the shortage.

In addition to the difficulties, withdrawal symptoms can also cause conflict. Loss of appetite, mood swings, fatigue, and suicidal tendencies can occur due to withdrawal. Doctors are speaking out in concern for their patients, those taking higher dosages.

With ADHD also comes the possibility of experiencing other mental illnesses. Bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression are often accompanied by an ADHD diagnosis and generally fall under the same umbrella. 10 to 15% of children with ADHD also suffer from depression. This overlap can lead to a higher probability of suicidal thoughts and actions.

Aside from kids, adults have also had an increase in Adderall prescriptions over the course of the pandemic. Between 2020 and 2021 there has been a 15% increase in Adderall intake among adults. The stress and isolation caused by the pandemic may have caused the surge in symptoms of adult ADHD.

A lack of access to the prescription could cause many adults to put themselves in situations that could cost them their careers or harm someone else such as staying focused while driving or managing to get through a workday.