Medicines to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are in such short supply that hundreds of patients complain daily to the Food and Drug Administration that they are unable to find a pharmacy with enough pills to fill their prescriptions.

The shortages are a result of a troubled partnership between drug manufacturers and the Drug Enforcement Administration, with companies trying to maximize their profits and drug enforcement agents trying to minimize abuse by people, many of them college students, who use the medications to get high or to stay up all night.

Caught in between are millions of children and adults who rely on the pills to help them stay focused and calm. Shortages, particularly of cheaper generics, have become so endemic that some patients say they worry almost constantly about availability.

So, millions of kids who are over medicated will go back to acting like kids are supposed to as kids? The horror!

  1. EstCstCrkPt says:

    All I can say is that Mephedrone now a felony to possess kept me on task and I had my house clean.

    Kept some weight off too. STuff was like Cocaine and Ecstacy.

    Damn Drug laws.

  2. bob says:

    “So, millions of kids who are over medicated will go back to acting like kids are supposed to as kids? The horror!”

    ADHD is a real condition resulting from abnormalities in the executive function sections of the brain. This can be confirmed via an MRI in people who actually have it. The fact that it is often over diagnosed in kids who are just bored, eating too much sugar, or just very excitable is irrelevant, as is substance abuse by college idiots.

    For some people with severe ADHD, they are simply unable to function normally without appropriate medication, no more than someone who is clinically depressed, schitzophrenic or bipolar can. Should we tell the severely depressed to just stop whining and get their shit together without all this ‘overmedication’?

  3. Yaknow says:

    ADD ADHD etc. The drug is in short supply can’t keep up with demand, and parents are complaining. Shouldn’t that say enough?

    Before these drugs where so abundantly given to millions of children what where children like? Did we have a huge social problem of disruptive unfocused kids?

    What happened to play, to recess, and P.E. class?

    I know parents who determined their boy was ADD/ADHD and was confirmed by a pediatrician. The boy isn’t ADD/ADHD by medical definition. Just constantly abused physically and mentally by an older resentful brother, parents who have a difficultly in the “how to raise kids” dept.; poor diet and poor understanding of kids and how to be good parents. They themselves take “happy pills” among other such prescription pills for several psychological and physical afflictions. A pill fixes everything mentally. What the kid needs isn’t a pill, but that is the easy solution. Thus, the crux of the issue.

    I suffer from severe Dyslexia and other learning disorders. I don’t take a pill for those things. I could have (1980′s medical research on antihistamines shown to improve and enhance thinking, memory, focus concentration, and other failing cognitive processes – doesn’t remedy letter reversal or other non-cognitive afflictions, at least for me) but I didn’t. I changed my diet to include foods high in specific vitamins, which the research also covered. As a result, my cognitive functions, like thinking concentration, memory and focus, etc. improved greatly. It is also worthy to note I went through academic learning programs. All of which decreased the effects of Dyslexia so much so I was afforded a college scholarship and a GPA of 3.0 where previous I had no chance in hell of graduating from high school with a GPA 1.7. All without a drug. One draw back in college, my BMI went from 17.5 to 29. That number reduced through exercise, and not with a pill.

    It is not that ADD/ADHD isn’t factual, my issue is working through it and no being dependent on a drug regiment, as one person said, I paraphrase, it is a matter of “convenience” to take a pill.

    • Jeanne says:

      While many people do manage it without drugs, some people need the meds, at least temporarily, to be able to control themselves and their lives enough to learn the strategies, or follow through with the life changes, such as diet, exercise etc..which all require setting up a routine…something that can be extremely difficult if not impossible for a more severe case of ADD/ADHD. Once the routines and strategies are in place, then one can try to ween themselves off the meds, relying more and more on the strategies etc than on the meds.

  4. Jeanne says:

    One thing I see from so many of those that post here is a misunderstanding of what ADD/ADHD is. I won’t deny there are misdiagnosis, as there are with many other health/mental issues as well..(how many women out there have been told it’s all in your head, when you had a real medical issue?). It is harder to diagnose something that is not testable by blood tests, but must be determined subjectively by some doctor, teacher, psychologist, or more likely, a combination of the three, and many of those are not specialists, and may also have misconceptions of what is and is not ADD/ADHD.

    The thing that most people don’t seem to grasp is the H part of ADHD is not necessarily being disruptive or ‘acting like normal, active kids’…or ‘hyperactive’, as it was called back in the 70′s etc..It is impulse control. It may not even be that obvious. It could take the form of impulse buying to the point where it messes up your family economy(compulsive gambling can be a big sign). It could lead to bad decisions that cause risky behavior that, if you had that normal impulse control(aka self control), you might never have done those things. It doesn’t mean you are always moving, can’t sit still means you lack that impulse control that you should have.

    Also, with these types of behavior, which cause you to pump up adrenalin are also known as a self medicating behavior. What does Adderall and Ritalin do, but increase levels of dopamine and norepinephren by giving a ‘stimulant’. Adrenalin is your body’s own natural stimulant, which makes the ADD/ADHD person feel more focused and alert, so they seek out things that raise the adrenalin levels unconsciously to make them feel right. Not always the most healthy path in life as taken to extreme, it can be very self destructive, as well as bad for those around you too!

    A lot of adults tend to be considered more ADD than ADHD. Again, this doesn’t mean what most people think it does. It doesn’t mean you cannot focus…it’s a lack of control of your focus. It can mean you are easily distracted from what you need to do, for example, work, or it can mean that you hyperfocus on something to the exclusion of other things you SHOULD focus on. You get stuck on solving a problem etc when you really should be getting ready to go to work or fix dinner etc. (or as I am at the moment, composing this post when I need to be editing 50 images by tomorrow evening!)

    The point is that ADD/ADHD gets in the way of people’s being productive and successful in their own lives. There are varying degrees of it. With some people, it’s minor, and fixing certain dietary and lifestyle things can be done without taking meds or professional coaching. Some respond well to coaching without meds, and some people, no matter how hard they try, cannot control their own focus enough to get a handle on their lives..especially if it’s been out of control for years. The medications turn on that part of the brain that is like a traffic controller for behavior….that part that says ‘you should be doing your work, not playing solitaire, checking your email, chatting with someone online” or the part the tells you: You don’t have time to figure out how to fix your stereo right now, it will wait, there are more important things to do. And for some people, they honestly need the medication to focus well enough to unknot the chaos in their lives and learn those strategies, techniques, change their diet, get into healthy routines, and hopefully, once they do that, they can get off the meds and rely on the new routines etc. For other people, they may need the meds all their lives in addition to coaching, strategies etc. It all depends on the severity of the ADD/ADHD.

    • pedro says:

      Excellent post.

      The only thing to note is that adults that didn’t suffer attention deficits disorder when they where young but started to have problems concentrating around late 30′s & 40′s suffer from AADD, which has different origins.

      • Jeanne says:

        AADD just means adult ADD, meaning you are an adult with ADD, rather than a kid, not that it necessarily started later. If you had type 2 diabetes for 10 years before diagnosis you didn’t just become diabetic, you’ve been so for 10 years. Same with Adult ADD

        There may be things, including hormonal changes(for ex. PCOS), depression, early forms of dementia, drug/alcohol abuse, brain injury and other aging issues which can cause similar issues. But most ‘new’ AADD people are people who have had it all their lives, but were never diagnosed, mostly because when they were younger, poor results in school or ‘misbehavior” were seen more as signs of being “dumb”/remedial, lazy or ‘smart but bored’ or just ornery, worthless or trouble.

        These are the people who now are finding their own kids getting diagnosed as ADD/ADHD and, in the process, having the A-HA! experience of realizing this is what they have been struggling with for years (or they may have found ways to partially compensate, but not everyone does), hence the large increase in medication sales as more and more here-to undiagnosed adults are getting treatment.

        • pedro says:

          Yes, Anumby, the A is for Adult.

          And no, AADD is for people that have developed the disorder well into Adulthood.

          If you had it from childhood you are already diagnosed with ADD or ADHD (the latter like the first with the additional of the H for Hyperactivity, so they’re not the same either). You might have gotten to adulthood undiagnosed, but it is not the norm.

          Gee, I didn’t know there were kids with Alzheimers (and other brain disorders like Binswanger’s, etc) or alcoholism.

          The worst thing is that you make the distinction yourself and yet want to keep your error.

        • pedro says:

          Ooops, Animby. Sorry. I was distracted by the icons.

          Deeply sorry.

        • pedro says:

          And Jeanne, my reply would have been less sarcastic, so sorry to you 2.

          • Jeanne says:

            actually, it is quite common for people who are now in their 40′s and older to have never been diagnosed before, because it wasn’t really understood or looked at beyond the kids who were disruptive back prior to the 80′s. In many cases it’s because one of their kids is diagnosed, that they see the similarities with their own history/personality etc and begin to research it or talk to their doctors about it. It is genetic and runs in families.

            I was diagnosed at age 43 because my oldest daughter, who is a lot like me, was diagnosed a couple of years before and my doctor finally made the connection(which I’d already figured out, more or less), and two guys I know, one who has a daughter diagnosed ADHD, has since been diagnosed because he recognized the similarity with his own life, and another friend in his 50s was just diagnosed. All three of us can see it in our whole lives, however, not just something new.

            As to the other ‘factors’ I was talking about, I was referring to adults with memory impairment, confusion etc….that those people can appear ADD (more than ADHD), but the symptoms could be caused by something totally different.

  5. Olo Baggins of Bywater says:

    Pedro, look at the collection of your posts here and ask yourself what you have contributed to the blog and the discussion. You, sir(?) have a problem. You know nothing about this subject, and you’ve spent at least five responses saying exactly nothing other than insulting a contributor.

    I suggest the Moderator have a look at your recent posting history and your need to attack a large percentage of my posts.

    • pedro says:

      Yes, ask the moderator. I’m quite sure I was the one that said your post was “Bullshit”.

      Sorry Oleo of Drywater, but I do have quite a bit of knowledge on the subject.

      It is you that brings that Boyscout anecdotal experience and wants to extrapolate it to actual knowledge.

      This is why Hobbits should not go out of the shire.

      • pedro says:

        And if the moderator wants to know how much is my knowledge on the subject, I’m more than happy to point it out to him privately.

  6. #77--bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    Olo==calling for the moderator? How droll, but I’m kinda missing the humor. And since I have a HSR (High Stimulus Requirement) I rarely read more than half the first sentence of any post I may have missed Pedro going off the rails but he is maintaining his recent high water mark of on point posting. Maybe he’s wrong, or right, or just unique==but he’s on point and certainly contributing.

    FREEEEEEEEEDOM===someone else posting what you don’t like. I’d hate to see “the moderator” clamp down on Pedro for being not to your liking. I imagine in quick step I would be moderated for making fun of Pedro’s Donkey and in such events, the pleasure measure for this blog would take another tumble.

    Why not take pleasure where you may and ignore the rest?

  7. Michael says:

    Holy crap! Now every kid who isn’t interested in his daily routine at grade school has ADD. Yeah, right. Funny how a few years ago, a kid who wouldn’t do his schoolwork or pay attention, or was disruptive got to spend another year in the same grade. Wow! How strange. Most of the kids who repeated, were magically paying attention & not being such a pest in class. Was this medication? No, it was common sence that even bullheaded little farts were smart enough to realize that doing an entire school year over again pretty much sucked!
    I witnessed a woman bring her little boy to church. The kid was a monster. He was disrespectful, loud & unruley. “Oh, he has ADD.” the mother told everyone who got the extreme pleasure of watching this kid act like a total ass.
    I believe that in many cases, ADD stands for “Hi, I don’t have the brains to properly raise my kid.”
    A prescription will fix him now that we have a medical term for typical kid who doesn’t want to listen.