Adderall is a Class 2 Narcotic, an amphetamine in the same class as cocaine. It can be very addictive
Reportedly, more than 6.4 million prescriptions for Adderall, were filled in 2011 to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and its sales growth continues. Its maker, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., received approval in February from the FDA to market its Adderall XR extended release in a generic version for ADHD use. In 2012 Adderall XR had annual sales, including brand and generic sales, of approximately $2 billion in the United States.
But another market exists in schools and colleges – young people taking the drug to study for tests. It’s a felony to give your prescription to someone or use someone else’s prescription but many pills get purchased or gifted this way. And ADHD symptoms are easy to fake in front of a money motivated doctor.
Estimates say one in five college kids students are using Adderall.
In the recent case of Richard Fee it is clear that his Adderall addiction led to his suicide.
His father Ricky Fee described finding his son hanging in a closet in their home.
“Worst possible thing you can possibly imagine,” he said. “I mean here was this great kid who had everything going for him. Everything. Smart, good-looking kid, and the Adderall just destroyed him.”
Richard had been a bright, happy sociable kid all through childhood. He was a star athlete, straight A student and had many friends. He’d never taken a drug until he took some Adderall a friend gave him for a study boost. He soon wanted his own supply and doctor in college gave him an Adderall prescription.
His mother, Kathy Fee, said she could hardly recognize her son when he was taking Adderall.
“It just changed his whole thought process,” she recalled. “His mental process, his actions, the things that he did.”
After college, Richard moved back home into his parents house and found 2 local doctors to prescribe Adderall for him. His parents, recognizing their son’s Adderall addiction, went to see one of the physicians to ask that he stop prescribing the drug for their son.
The doctor faced them behind a glass partition and would not discuss the matter with them only to state that legally Richard was over 18 and his treatment was private.
The Adderall drug doses were increased
Dr. LeFever Watson tells what occurs when you take too much of the drug.
“As things progress, you can become more seriously addicted and psychotic, and lose the ability to think clearly, and do things that you otherwise wouldn’t do.”
His father explained that the cheerful and peaceful child he’d known since birth was now dangerous.
“During this time Richard’s becoming more violent. He’s making threats,” he said. “I mean we were scared of our own son during that time. We slept with our doors locked.”
At one point Richard asked his parents for help and, they inquired about rehab facilities. They ended up being referred to a psychiatric facility which was too full to admit their son. Next stop was the emergency room which led to an interview with a psychiatrist. Kathy Fee recalls she sat in the waiting room and soon her son walked out of the interview with a prescription for 90 more days of Adderall!
Richard’s prescription ran out and for some reason neither doctor re-filled the prescription or got him on a proper Adderall withdrawal program. Two weeks later he hung himself.
Bruce J. Levin, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, wrote critically about his own profession in a letter to the editor of the “New York Times” following the newspaper’s article about Richard Fee’s suicide.
“The profoundly sad story of Richard Fee and his family clearly illustrates how quality psychiatric and other medical care has been overpowered by the industrialization of medicine and profits at any cost by insurance and pharmaceutical industries.
It is commonplace that psychiatric standards have been reduced to 15-minute “med checks” without attention to the true needs of the patient, to say nothing of assessing or facilitating any psychotherapeutic caring.
This approach to care is one small step for the medical-insurance-pharmaceutical industrial complex and one giant tragedy for mankind.”
Parents need to decide if Adderall, claimed to be “as safe as aspirin”, is a good idea for their high school and college age students or if it is just the latest devastating psychiatric drug to become popular in America.
These comments from a young man who was addicted and is now off the drug might help one decide:
“Never. Touch. Adderall.”
That’s what my last words to the world would have been if I had gotten into an eventually-fatal car crash or something during my time on Adderall.
I don’t have many regrets in my life. Sure, I wish I could take back some of the stupid/hurtful things I’ve said and done to others at different points in my life. But when it really comes down to it, there’s only one thing I would go back and do over.
I can trace everything that I don’t like about myself — everything that I don’t like about my life — back to that first little, blue, 10mg Adderall pill…
If you hear nothing else I say on this blog, hear this: That pill will push you sideways in life, it will skew and distort all that you were meant to be, and you will regret it. If you haven’t already, never touch Adderall.
I promise you will be better off. You will never know just how much better off, but that’s kind of the point. Be grateful you never had to find out.”