ONLY ON 3: ADHD patients struggling to fill Adderall prescription

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Submitted: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 1:37pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Many people with ADHD are having a hard time getting their prescription for Adderall filled.

For about a month now, pharmacies have had very little to no supply of the drug. Some patients are turning to desperate measures to get a hold of the pills.

Pharmacies across the country are experiencing a shortage of Adderall.

“There is a problem,” said Hal King, owner of King’s pharmacy in Wilmington.

King says patients prescribed the immediate-release version of the drug have been frantically trying to get a hold of the pills.

“A lot of people are just not on their game,” King said. “Sometimes they have to gather their thoughts.”

King says he gets about 30 to 50 calls every day and says it has gone on for about a month.

“I didn’t realize that their were so many people taking this product to have a normal life, and it’s just been amazing,” King said.

Unlike many pharmacies in Wilmington, King’s gets a shipment of about four bottles of Adderall a week, which King says is no where near enough.

“Some pharmacies, like CVS for example, will find out that we have some, and they’ve sent all of their patients over to us, so we’ve just had a deluge of people come to us and try to get this product,” he said.

Jacob Schnexnayder does not use the drug, but says many of his friends that do have been suffering.

“It’s hard. People can’t function like they normally do, so they’ve got to find another way to get it,” Schnexnayder said.

He says because they can’t obtain the pills legally, they sometimes have to get the drug off the streets.

“If they get caught doing that, they could be arrested, because it is technically illegal, but nobody has any, so what are they going to do,” Schnexnayder said.

King says he believes the problem is most likely due to a shortage in raw materials and the increased demand of the drug.

King says he has started to advise patients to have doctors prescribe them Ritalin or the extended release capsules to help them with their ADHD.


  • Very real says:

    I’m surprised at the amount of people who do not understand that ADD and ADHD are true and very real medical conditions. If you have lived with someone whom has this condition you have an idea of how debilitating it is…and for those of us whom actually have this ADD or ADHD, we suffer in ways that others couldn’t imagine. Can you imagine thinking less of yourself due to a medical condition? It’s hard not to do so with this.
    Everyone really is entitled to their opinion. If you do not have this medical condition and are going to comment in a negative manner, please, please learn more about this condition before you brand others as addicts.

  • Guest2012 says:

    When you cannot get it from your pharmacy, per this story? I think you may realize then….just how addictive this DRUG really is, after all. Ask any mental health professional, R.N., psych screeners & especially drug counselors!!!!
    Sorry, truth hurts!

  • Know your facts says:

    You’re right, Adderall IS a drug. So are anti-depressants like Zoloft and allergy medicines like Claritin.

    All three enable people who have ADD, chemical imbalances, or allergies, respectively, go about their lives. All three have different effects on people who don’t need them.

    So, do you have allergies? Do you get depressed sometimes? How would you feel if someone who DOESN’T have allergies or depression called you an addict? How would you feel if someone said you didn’t really need that medication, you were just addicted to it? No matter if it enables you to breathe the air, or appreciate your life. You’re not someone with a medical condition…you’re just a worthless addict and the “truth hurts.”

    That’s what you’re doing here. And it makes you look judgmental and ignorant. If you actually knew the FACTS instead of simply dispensing judgment based on your fact-free OPINIONS, then perhaps your comment would be worthy of consideration. I encourage you to read this:

    It’s an actual medical journal. It describes a double-blind study for adults who suffer from ADHD. They were able to decrease their symptoms by 42%! That means that every individual who is genuinely ADHD* is operating at 42% less capacity than before.

    A genuinely afflicted person WILL be very keen to get a hold of their prescription, but not because of physical addiction. Rather, they want to live a normal life. Shame on you for confusing that with addiction.

    *I say “genuinely ADHD” because you’re right in one respect: There ARE many who abuse it. I’m not disputing that. But there are many more who need this drug to function. There are folks who can’t tolerate the extended release medicine (side effects are worse…nausea in particular). And it is THOSE people that you are condemning.

  • LBlack says:

    To Adderall is a Narcotic:
    Ignorance and stupidity all at once, I struggled through school with ADD. In college one of my professors encouraged me to get tested, only because I was on by third attempt of the same course. Ten years later of silly pride and enough defeat I got help and discovered Adderall through a doctor’s suggestion. It didn’t change my life; it made my life possible for me to succeed.
    If you do not suffer from any defect than you do not understand. Those of us that do will understand it helps one conquer an imbalance. Unless you have firsthand knowledge of this, stop commenting. You’re only showing how afraid you are in this “rat” race and think we that require “medicine” will get an upper hand. On the contrary, maybe one of us will find the medicine that helps you or your loved ones.

  • GuestReality says:

    Adderall does nothing for someone who doesn’t really have ADD/ADHD (except get them addicted), but it definitely helps those who are truly ADD/ADHD. It sounds like you were misdiagnosed.

  • ClintfromTexas says:

    Adderall was a diet drug in the 60’s and 70’s that housewives abused and got addicted to so they took off the market before the FDA banned it, Google obetrol. Shire pharmaceuticals bought the patent in the 90’s and got approval to market it to kids for ADHD, go figure and renamed it Adderall. Shire recently sold the formulation since it is not as profitable after it went generic to justify the lawsuit risk (Canada banned it in Canada in 2005 due to too many kids dying from heart failure then re-instated after being pressure by the FDA. Now Shire markets a drug called Intuniv to kids to counter the negative effects of continued stimulant use.

    I am a 53 year old male that was diagnosed with ADD about 8 years ago and spent the worst and least productive 6 six years of my life on Adderall (or generic equivalent) and got off it cold turkey last fall when the big shortages hit. It has been a rough 5 months but my life is starting to get back to normal as the adderall fog lifts.

    Unfortunately I don’t know that my dopamine receptors will ever recover to pre-adderall levels since there have never been any long term studies on that subject.

  • Brian says:

    Adderall is nothing but amphetamine. Speed. People have been using it for years before it was branded Adderall.

  • Guest3 says:

    That’s true. Adderall is an amphetamine, just like Ritalin. And AGAIN, it has a different effect on people who have ADHD. It doesn’s speed them up; it slows them down. AGAIN, people who DON’T have ADHD shouldn’t be taking it.

  • Guest Canteen Boy says:

    The uninsured are the ones flooding the ER’s now, mostly for non-emergencies. See, they can’t just go to a doctors office when they have the Flu, because the doctor won’t see them unless they can pay. So, they show up at the ER, where they won’t be turned away. Theoretically, when Obamacare goes into effect and more of these people have insurance, they’ll be able to go to a doctors office for minor illnesses or injuries instead of the ER, where the cost of care is many time greater than it is at the primary-care practicioner’s office. In the long run, it should be cheaper to subsidize insurance for the poor, than it is to pay for their frequent ER visits, as is happening now.

  • Guest2012 says:

    No wonder everyone is going nuts….trying to get it. They are addicted to it, thanks to the goofball psychiatrists who prescribe it. We all know that the State is broke, thus no longer agreeing to be the “supplier” thru Medicaid Rx reimbursements. You’d think everyone who works with pharmeceuticals would have a clue as to what is going on!

    AND THIS IS BEFORE OBAMACARE. Don’t get sick folks! The ER’S cannot even remotely handle the volumn of sick people now….let alone in 2014, when the unhealth bill goes into effect.

  • Guest3 says:

    If you have ADHD, Adderall affects you differently than if you’re non-ADHD. In an ADHD adult, Adderall helps you focus and helps you not be so hyperactive. In non-ADHD adults, they wouldn’t be able to focus and would be super hyperactive. Those who are truly ADHD need Adderall to help them lead a normal life. Those who are non-ADHD just want a high.

  • Jessie says:

    To Adderall is a Narcotic
    I take it. And I’m not an ADDICT. I need this to live a normal life. Without it I can not maintain a job. I have a 10 year old son that also has it. So in order for me to give him the best normal life I can I have to take it. If you don’t have it or know someone that does then you don’t know what it’s like living with it!

  • Noni says:

    I take Adderall XR (extended release) and I have been dealing with this problem for almost a YEAR now. I have even gone from Target, to Walgreens, to CVS, only to find that none of them had enough to fill my prescription. One day, I went to 3 different Rite-Aids (getting the run-around, told the other ones had enough in stock, etc.). There have been periods of time where I have even had to wait up to 2 or 3 weeks before I could get my prescription filled. They say it is on back-order, and that they cannot keep it in stock. It’s crazy!

  • Guest85 says:

    My thyroid medication hasn’t been available for over two years. People who are dependent on Adderall cannot depend on it being made available. Though not ideal, waste no time if finding alternatives.

  • c'mon man! says:

    I’m so fed up with all this bs…I feel like I should just start smoking crystal meth instead. I’m sure it’s cheaper and a hell of a lot easier to come by!

  • HyperX says:

    I was diagnosed in ’84 prior to ADHD being listed in the DSM. I was on ritalin until my early twenties when I switched to Addreall.

    There are people who have ADD, people who think they have ADD and the drug is over-prescribed.

    Addreall is a tri-amphetamie raw salt with a high rate of abuse (abuse would include taking it to stay awake and study for exams.)

    Unless there is a compelling reason to use the raw salt, DOctor’s should consider the XR or other alternatives such as Vyvanse..
    Having tried Vyvanse, the qualities and traits are very, very similar to the tri-amphetamine.
    For the person that truely has ADD, substitutes such as Vyvanse (Vyvanse acts like addreall except it does not react with the body until the drug acts wiht the stomach acids, therefor owering the risk of abuse..) will work just fine and from what I have seen in support groups, etc.. is the people who argue most about having to have the salts are the one’s who coould possibly not be using it for its intended purpose..

    FO me, I have a a relationship with my Doctor, a neuro MD for two and a half decades. Because of that and the trust relationship and time and time again where I have come in for a Med check and instead of being out, I have extras at the end of the month, I am allowed to an extend to regulate my own dose…

    A doctor who prescribes a patient adderall without that type of trust and without randon drug screens for other illicit drugs is acting in an irresponsible and unethical manner.

    The one thing that MDs will tell you who have long-term patients who have been on Adderall for a long time,, is that someone truely with ADD or ADHD is the one person who will not or does not abuse their Rx, because people like me use it to function… THey use it to be normal.. They won’t abuse it because what addreall does for me, does not get me sped up like other people who are abusing it..

    My point being, is there are MANY of us who depend on this, who have been taking it for years upon years only to be shorted now because it has become such a recreational drug….

    My son read this and informed me that at Hoggard High School there is an abundance of adderall vyvnase and ritalin for sale and If I couldn’t find any it sells for between $3 and $5 a pill…

    I’ve heard colllege kids brag about how they lied to get it so they can stay up and study and stay up and drink.. And then ther is the rest of us, that have do do without because of the rampant abuse.

    Of doctors would be more resonsible and act in an ethical manner, there wouldn’t be the shortage that there is now and those of us who neeed it to function wouldn’t be going wihout now…

  • Guestgust says:

    Big Pharmaceuticals keep making that money…and people stay sick. Why not try to CURE something –oh, there’s no money in that. I feel bad for those that need these drugs, but I wish they would look to a more natural solution.

  • Pat4 says:

    There is a natural alternative to ADD, ADHD, etc. We have helped alot of people get results. Check out this site. This is not a scam, have been taking this for 16 1/2 years and it changed my life! Stop taking meds and start on the road to better health!

  • Guest2012 says:

    This individual knows what they are talking about, especially about the doctors who prescribe this highly abused narcotic, without proper screening.
    Psychiatrists should be speaking out about this DRUG and how it is ruining people’s lives due to the nature of the drugs properties.
    Don’t take it and get “hooked”.

  • Guest3 says:

    “The one thing that MDs will tell you who have long-term patients who have been on Adderall for a long time,, is that someone truely with ADD or ADHD is the one person who will not or does not abuse their Rx, because people like me use it to function… THey use it to be normal.. They won’t abuse it because what addreall does for me, does not get me sped up like other people who are abusing it.”

    I think you need to re-read Hyper X’s post again (above), as well as my own. He said the same thing I did…that if you truly have ADHD, Adderoll has a different effect than on non-ADHD people. It doesn’t “speed” the ADHD person up…it calms their hyperactivity down and helps them to focus. If you’re NON-ADHD and take Adderoll, you’re well on your way to becoming an addict. Only those who have been truly diagnosed properly as having ADHD should be taking Adderoll.

  • GuestK says:

    ….and it was my theory all along. Back when my children were in early elementary school (late 1980s), there was a huge push to put all children who actually behaved like children on Ritalin so they would conform to the class, sit still, and behave. I violently protested the over-prescribing of Ritalin. The AMA educated teachers on traits of ADD and ADHD so they could make recommendations to parents to take their children to a doctor and get “help” for their children. But most of the “signs” of ADD and ADHD were normal traits found in most active and bright children. Many parents bowed to the doctor’s advice (they are gods, you know), and put their children on Ritalin because of fear that their child may grow up unsuccessful. I felt that Ritalin had not been tested in a full life cycle, and that these children may grow up depending on a drug even into adulthood because they were conditioned to believe that they needed this in order to succeed and be “normal” people in society. Well, this morning on your sectment, WWAYTV3, my theory is somewhat brought to light. Adderall is in short supply, and they interviewed a young man at a local school talking about his friends that are on this drug and how they are suffering and how some may be going to the streets to buy it. Way too many people who are now young adults are on this drug, and most started with Ritalin as children. Although I know some people have benefited greatly from both, and did need it (so don’t jump me on this), the AMA and the pharmacutical companies have benefited greatly at the expense of so many today who probably would have been just fine without it. Now, our young adults are scampering because they must find a source.

  • Dr. Williams says:

    Adderall’s adverse side effects that should be immediately reported include suicidal thoughts or suicidal actions, sudden confusion or a feeling of displacement, a tightness in the chest with pain spreading throughout the back and the arms, heart palpitations, the inability to breathe or shortness of breath, feelings of depression or despair, changes in behavior such as becoming more aggressive or more shy, performing actions you do not recall or do not understand, experiencing visual, auditory, or sensory hallucinations, feeling restless or constantly having the need to move about, seizures or black out, periods, a sudden rash or the development of hives, and uncontrollable bodily movements, commonly of the head, mouth, or appendages.

    Perfect for kids who can’t sit still.

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