Adderall shortage hits home

Photo courtesy: Kelly Calligan Flickr Creative Commons

Carliss Bradley, a student at Florida State University, takes Adderall every day, but she is worried that she will have trouble getting her prescription filled as a result of a nationwide shortage of the popular stimulant.

Bradley went without Adderall for a few months earlier this year, but realized how much she relied on it to deal with all of her coursework at FSU.

She has occasionally been taking Focalin, an alternative ADHD medicine, since March.

Despite all of her school accomplishments, Bradley is worried that she may fail one of two of her classes.

Bradley was diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in 2021 during her freshman year of college.

“I am worried that the shortage is going to start affecting my overall health soon. I just want things to go back to normal,” Bradley said.

Bradley finally felt normal around her friends and participated in extracurricular activities once she started taking Adderall.

There are more than 100,000 people in the United States who suffer from health issues that are difficult to manage, according to the National Institutes of Health. Despite the difficulty of coping with ADHD, Adderall shortages have been observed around the United States for people who suffer from ADHD.

Adderall is typically derived from a mixture of amphetamine salts. This year,  manufacturers are unable to keep up with the demand, resulting in a shortage.

Those with ADHD often have difficulty paying attention, impulsiveness and restlessness.

In the wake of the Adderall shortage, physicians have been prescribing similar amphetamines that may be used as a substitute.

Drug experts have claimed differently, according to the Federal Food & Drug Administration, stating they do not have sufficient ingredients and are not necessarily a reliable substitute for Adderall.

In January, Bradley began having trouble getting her Adderall refilled.

“As I began to hear news about the shortage, I realized this was real,” Bradley said. The Adderall shortage began last fall and has continued because of supply problems affecting 141 different ADHD medications. Focalin, Vyvanse and methylphenidate, among others, have also been in short supply.

“I deal with anxiety and issues that aren’t easy to deal with daily so I look forward to taking my Adderall. I could face many issues in life if the shortage continues any longer,” Bradley said.

According to experts, Adderall and other ADHD medications will not be readily available until the end of the year, with shortages likely to last until then.