Via Motherboard, Kelly Bourdet on the inevitable mass shortages of the drug necessary to function in modern life. Will the empty pharmacy shelf be the 21st century equivalent to the gasoline scares of the 1970s?
For many people with ADHD, Adderall is what best manages their symptoms. At the same time, a drug that reduces appetite, increases wakefulness, induces feelings of euphoria (side effects, or, rather, effects of Adderall) — all through flooding your brain’s reward system—has vast potential for abuse. Amphetamine salts, used in Adderall, are classified by the U.S. Government as a Class II Narcotic, the same as cocaine and Oxycontin.
To prevent hoarding of materials and their potential for theft and illicit use, the Drug Enforcement Agency sets quotas for the chemical precursors to drugs like Adderall. But with the number of prescriptions for Adderall jumping 13 percent in the past year, pharmaceutical companies claim that the quotas are no longer sufficient for supplying Americans with their Adderall.
Doctors wrote over 18 million prescriptions for Adderall in 2010, and that number escalates every year. Increasing numbers of Americans being diagnosed with ADHD, coupled with a surge of others either feigning symptoms to get prescriptions or drying out their prescribed friends’ supplies, means there’s simply not going to be enough Adderall to satisfy everyone’s needs (and desires).