Last week Reuters ran an article by Toni Clarke: “Insight: Shortage of ADHD Drug Adderall seen persisting.”
Here are the first five paragraphs:
“A shortage of Adderall, which is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, shows little sign of easing as manufacturers struggle to get enough active ingredient to make the drug and demand climbs.
Adderall, a stimulant, is a controlled substance, meaning it is addictive and has the potential to be abused. The Drug Enforcement Administration tightly regulates how much of the drug’s active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) can be distributed to manufacturers each year.
The system is designed to prevent the creation of stockpiles that could be diverted for inappropriate use. Adderall and other stimulants are popular with students who may not have ADHD but are seeking to improve their test scores.
The DEA authorizes a certain amount of the API in Adderall – mixed amphetamine salts – to be released to drugmakers each year based on what the agency considers to be the country’s legitimate medical need.
Increasingly that estimate is coming into conflict with what companies themselves say they need to meet demand for the drug, which is reaching all-time highs. In 2010, more than 18 million prescriptions were written for Adderall, up 13.4 percent from 2009, according to IMS Health, which tracks prescription data.”
I have written on the behaviors known as ADHD elsewhere. My position is that what’s involved here essentially is misbehavior, the most likely cause of which is ineffective parental discipline. The APA have successfully medicalized this misbehavior, and in concert with their pharmaceutical allies, have established the notion that the “illness” can be “treated” with schedule II addictive drugs.
But of course ADHD is not a real disease – anyone can “get” it. All you have to do is behave in a certain way – and voila – you have the illness!
Now schedule II substances are addictive. This means that people find them pleasant to take. School children sell them to classmates for $5-$10 a pill. Once children get a taste for them, it doesn’t take them long to figure out how to get a prescription of their own – behave like a brat – make errors on homework – daydream a lot – act restless and inattentive, etc.. There are no limits to the inventiveness of a drug-seeking American child. And more and more people are climbing on the candy train (13.4% more in 2010 than 2009!)
This is a completely open-ended situation. There are no natural limits on how many people can “succumb” to this “illness.” If a child misbehaves in a manner consistent with the APA checklist – then he has ADHD. Nothing else is needed. There are no blood tests; no neurological tests; no pain! Just bounce around like a brat for a few weeks – and the drugs come rolling in. Is this a great country or what?
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