Op-Ed: Don’t let Adderall scarcity trigger a repeat of the opioid epidemic
“The use of stimulants for ADHD is becoming a massive problem,” said Michael L. Bierut, MD, executive vice president for Academic Affairs and Provost at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, in an interview with Medscape. “When parents say, ‘I can’t find the right medicine,’ they are often getting the truth. Often, these stimulants, when they are prescribed, are in large doses, but the most common dosage is between 300 and 600 milligrams of Ritalin or Equasym—and that is a really high dosage for teens and preteens.”
Bierut said that while it’s important to look at potential adverse side-effects, such as weight loss and addiction, the larger issue is the drug’s high price and lack of availability.
“So the challenge for our schools and the schools across the country is to find ways to make the market more transparent so that consumers have more information, and can make smarter choices,” said Dr. Bierut.
Bierut also said that while physicians aren’t sure how long ADHD children use stimulant medications, it is reasonable to assume that more than half the kids on the market are being chronically and incorrectly treated.
This is an editorial posted to The Washington Post on April 13, 2018. The full editorial can be read here.
I have read that as a kid in the 1960s, I was taking Ritalin and then I used Adderall and found I could take the two more easily than taking only one. I’ve been taking both for more than 40 years with no side effects. I now have a teenager but use it only on rare occasions, and that is usually when she has a bad day. I’ve tried it on her three times; three was the limit.
One reason the drug is so popular is that it is cheap. There are a few of us that use it, but most kids are using it for a short period. If they don’t use it as far beyond three days or so, they don’t need to worry about getting addicted. And if they continue to use it, it is not going to kill them.
There is also a