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New York Times Writes About Adderall Addiction (and Doctor Ignorance)

Big thanks to Nicole for sending this article my way. Congrats on 40 days, Nicole!

From Nicole, who forwarded this to me..

My story was very similar to Richard’s, except I was able to get help sooner. I just completed an Intensive Outpatient Program for Alcohol and Drug Abuse. I abused Adderall and Vyvanse for a long time and turned to your site a few times before seeking professional help. I am 40 days drug and alcohol free today!

Below is an excerpt from the recent New York times article Drowned in a Stream of Prescriptions, followed quotes from One of Nicole’s friends who is also a recovering Adderallic.

From the New York Times Article

Medications like Adderall can markedly improve the lives of children and others with the disorder. But the tunnel-like focus the medicines provide has led growing numbers of teenagers and young adults to fake symptoms to obtain steady prescriptions for highly addictive medications that carry serious psychological dangers. These efforts are facilitated by a segment of doctors who skip established diagnostic procedures, renew prescriptions reflexively and spend too little time with patients to accurately monitor side effects.

Richard Fee’s experience included it all. Conversations with friends and family members and a review of detailed medical records depict an intelligent and articulate young man lying to doctor after doctor, physicians issuing hasty diagnoses, and psychiatrists continuing to prescribe medication — even increasing dosages — despite evidence of his growing addiction and psychiatric breakdown.

Very few people who misuse stimulants devolve into psychotic or suicidal addicts. But even one of Richard’s own physicians, Dr. Charles Parker, characterized his case as a virtual textbook for ways that A.D.H.D. practices can fail patients, particularly young adults. “We have a significant travesty being done in this country with how the diagnosis is being made and the meds are being administered,” said Dr. Parker, a psychiatrist in Virginia Beach. “I think it’s an abnegation of trust. The public needs to say this is totally unacceptable and walk out.”

Young adults are by far the fastest-growing segment of people taking A.D.H.D medications. Nearly 14 million monthly prescriptions for the condition were written for Americans ages 20 to 39 in 2011, two and a half times the 5.6 million just four years before, according to the data company I.M.S. Health. While this rise is generally attributed to the maturing of adolescents who have A.D.H.D. into young adults — combined with a greater recognition of adult A.D.H.D. in general — many experts caution that savvy college graduates, freed of parental oversight, can legally and easily obtain stimulant prescriptions from obliging doctors.

Quotes from Nicole’s friend Mike (also an Adderallic)…

This is a sad statement on the mindset of western medicine and the ignorance of addiction by the medical community.

I recently joined a group called YPR (Young People in Recovery)…note “young” as a relative term for “young in recovery” as I only have 9 months…and their mission is “to find people who are interested in sharing their recovery stories, who are interested in changing public policy, public perspective and working within “systems” to build community, fight stigma and strengthen the voice of the young person in recovery across all systems (schools, communities, municipalities, counties, regions and the state)”.

Anyway, one of the things this group is doing is reaching out to the medical community in an effort to get them involved in talks with recovering addicts for just this very reason!!

3 Responses to “New York Times Writes About Adderall Addiction (and Doctor Ignorance)”

  1. Lisa says:

    I think doctors first, are iggnorant to the fact that this is a real addiction, second, they think it is just limited to high school and college age people. We have found from this site that people of all ages can succumb to this addiction. I work with it everyday. I see the ignorance and the total disregard for this addiction. I have suffered over 2 years with it and none of my colleagues think I have a problem. They think that since I truly have what they call “ADHD ” that I need the medication. They dismiss my health problems as an “unconfirmed diagnosis” I can confirm it. It is called ADDERALL!!!

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