The Great US Adderall Shortage is likely going to last at least for another year

Originally published at: The Great US Adderall Shortage is likely going to last at least for another year | Boing Boing


I’m sorry to hear you (and your family) have been put into this position through a combination of big pharma management incompetence and arseholes abusing the med.


Motivating Indigenous People GIF


Don Jr. It all Don Jr’s fault. Probably.



I’ve thought about seriously getting on it, as I have been told it could help me in several different ways. I am just reluctant to be on another medication. And there is a shortage? I have enough trouble filling my pain killers some months, where they have to get in more drugs from another location. :confused:


I realized in the past couple of years that I likely have ADHD. Very likely, in fact. I can look back on my entire life – school, work, etc. – and the neon signs are there, flashing ADHD over and over again.

Since I’m fumbling at a new job, I decided I need to get officially diagnosed and on meds (if needed). All I know is that I need something. Meds or how to handle this…whatever is best.

Finding a psychiatrist (the only doctor who can officially diagnose and prescribe Rx, if needed) who’s actually taking new patients is, at best, difficult in my area.

While my current situation sucks (relatively speaking) – new job, new responsibilities, new processes – I really hate looking back on my life and realizing that I could have possibly struggled less and been less frazzled and more productive. Ce la vie.


Me too, but a fair chunk of “this position” is simply down to the US’s dysfunctional (non-functional) healthcare system and its regulation, and ‘free’ pharmaceuticals market in general, rather than just due to a specific drug supply/overuse problem, surely?

In UK NHS docs mostly prescribe a drug, not a brand AFAIK (my blood pressure tablets seem to be a different size/shape/colour every time I get the scrip renewed). And my GP lets me specify which pharmacy to send scrips to, for my convenience. Hospital out-patients, though, are stuck waiting for hours at the hospital pharmacy.


At 49yr old [fall 2021], I was diagnosed with ADD / ADHD / Insert_Other_From_That_Broad_Spectrum, and I’m using non-extended release capsules Adderall (aka straight-up Amphetamine). It helps, some, but what helped the most was exactly what ToMajorTom referenced…looking back at my life and seeing the flashing neon signs of “this is why you are bad at time management, remembering people’s names but not faces, anxiety, procrastination / avoidance techniques, et al” and realizing they were ALWAYS with me.

Again, is Adderall fixing me? No, not hardly; recognition of the condition and patterns of behavior has been more fruitful in how I respond to my state of being. Even ON the drug, time management, distractions, avoidance and anxiety are a still constant fixture. But for the working hours that I am actively processing the drug, it’s a little bit better.

ETA: Edit for spelling error/fat-finger.
ETA2: Update from 50yr / Summer '22 to 49/Fall '21. See…bad at time management -and- time sense.


If you’re in a situation where you can take advantage of the medication outside normal working hours, I can’t recommend trying it enough. Yes, it’s hugely helpful for managing during the work day, but always remember that you deserve the benefits of proper treatment as well, not just your employer! I also hope that you’re still tweaking and tuning your treatments with medical professionals- both from my reading and personal experience, it’s common to need to take time (some people need multiple years!) to arrive at an ideal treatment for you personally, and that treatment will likely need adjustment over time as well.

(You may be well-aware of all of this, but there are so many stigmas and difficulties surrounding proper treatment of ADHD, so I try to take any reasonable opportunity to be a cheerleader for those of us that are working through the process!)

Fellow late-diagnosis adult here- just shy of 40 and was diagnosed/started treatment roughly a year ago, and it’s been incredibly freeing as I recognize how many of my struggles growing up derived directly from undiagnosed ADHD, not from some kind of personal failing on my part. Less an excuse, but more of an explanation of why I felt like no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get ahead, and everyone around me seemed like they had it together. Being able to start to accept why and how that all happened has been a journey (and will continue to be so- it’s been slow but reasonably steady progress), but oh so worthwhile.

Hang in there, you’ve got this. Oh, and we’re definitely not alone.


The Adderall is definitely a tool, not a cure-all solution on its own. You’re right that the best approach is that self-awareness. Sometimes, even with that extra dopamine boost from the Adderall, I find myself focusing on all the WRONG things. I still need to be hyper-aware of my brain and its tendencies; a little stimulant can help the synapses fire the way I want them to though.

Good luck!


I’m sure that there are many intricate interlocking pieces; but this seems like one of those situations where it’s hard to take any of the excuses, no matter how dutifully written up, seriously when spending the world’s highest percentage of GDP(on a fairly high per-capita GDP) on healthcare can’t even assure a steady supply of a small-molecule drug that was synthesized before the turn of the 20th century.

The only thing keeping this from being literally the most weaksauce possible supply problem is DEA involvement, which is a choice, not a force of nature.


Nah, I think he’s more traditionally coke.

Check the drawers in Mar a Lago near the classified stuff. That’s probably enough to end the shortage.


Amen, halleluiah, holler it so those in the back can hear.

In the first three months I was medicated, I played around with dosage times and amounts. Unfortunately, I got into what I ‘thought’ was a good place around Thanksgiving '21…a full dose in the morning and a half dose when the afternoon “droopy head” kicked in. Yeah, turns out not so much.

The week before Xmas I was basically a low-grade tweaker…my thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and sleep cycle were on a bit of a roller coaster. After meeting friends for a post-Xmas trip to the beach, and slowing the med roll, I realized how out of whack and out of control I’d been the prior 2 weeks and moved back to a single full daily dose. Now that I’m balanced again with over a year under my belt, I’ve considered trying half-half or random/occasional 2nd dose…but I’ve been hesitant. However, I do maintain my dosage over the weekends, so as to give myself and mine the benefit as well.

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My wife of 30 years got diagnosed with ADHD about 4 years back and got on concerta. It’s like night and day. She can organize, she doesn’t end up in a tail spin of anxiety trying to figure out her schedule. She actually sleeps at night.

Then last year the shortage hit her. I had forgotten how much I executive function for her before she got on concerta. It’s frustrating as hell to see her life literally blossom before my eyes, and have it all taken away becuase she can’t get her meds.

We spend so much time arguing, and calling, and re-calling, to see if it’s in, and the shortage just keeps happening. For the first time in 6 months she got a month, then a half month scripts and we don’t know if we can get more after that.

At this point, I don’t give a shit if the FDA thinks any kind of way about these meds, I just want my wife to get something that literally makes her life more livable for her. It’s so hard to watch her struggle again, but now with the extra frustration of knowing there is something that can help her, but the US government is such a sack of shit about healthcare that she can’t even get it even with “good” insurance becuase it’s not available.

I feel like I am in a 3rd world country becuase this already happened with shortages for her injectable estrogen cypionate forcing her to transfer to estrogen valorate. I am facing my own shortage of testosterone. We are both trans, post surgery, so we have to have HRT or we are in big trouble. I don’t know what the fix is, but this is insanity.


That’s the real thing that hurts: this isn’t a trivial thing, this shortage is inflicting an almost Flowers for Algernon situation on millions of people, who’ve had a taste of how life can be, but aren’t able to get it back for reasons utterly outside their control.


That is actually a really good way of putting it.


I totally agree with most of what I’m reading and sympathize with the loss people are experiencing.

I’m also strongly struck with how parallel this looks to another, bigger, pharmaceutical supply crisis of late. And I have to genuinely question what valid lessons there might be across both.

Substitute “pain” for “executive function” or “ADHD”. And substitute opioids for Adderall & related stimulants. Compare and contrast.

In the earlier situation the FDA was bought off by Big Pharma, and failed to exert proper control for far too long. In this case they appear to be perhaps too quick on the trigger with heavy handed restriction.

In both situations many people who have been greatly helped in past are now losing access to relief in the face of a massive demand increase and a (sooner or later) heavy regulatory response.

I genuinely don’t know the answers here. I just know that neither of these situations is right.

WHY can’t American healthcare handle this stuff better?

ETA: One obvious part of the answer is profit motivation.


I agree that it’s a wider problem. Which is why I tried to write that as open-ended as possible.

Because, yes, it’s a similar situation to when someone finds that a certain opioid relieves their chronic pain, but a supply crisis, a legislative moral panic overreaction, or both, remove their access.

Or when, say, a drug is made popular on TikTok for weight loss, and suddenly diabetics can’t get hold of it, and they risk, you know, dying. (But surely it’s worth it if some influencer can get some views by giving ideas people who could exercise and eat better to manage their weight, but don’t want to, and thus take the option away from people who want to but can’t. /s)

Or any number of other examples. It’s a wider problem, of which this is just one instance. And they’re all tragic.


We always tend to refight the last war, don’t we?

(Love the Flowers for Algernon reference btw! What a great story!)

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Ok, the BEST advice that I got from the ADHD side of the internet is this: your brain may try to focus on whatever you’re doing when the meds kick in. If you take your adderall and then sit down to play a little bit of Animal Crossing before you start your chores, guess who is going to re-do their entire island, house, and wardrobe in AC today?