View Full Version : Will Adderall and Other Stimulants Be Banned?


dugup1254
02-26-10, 11:40 PM
I have just been diagnosed with my ADHD, although I feel I have had the symptoms for some time now. I have tried out Wellbutrin for a couple moths, now I am on Adderall, and I am having mixed feelings about it (that will be another post, at another time). Being that I have never taken any medication for anything other than an antibiotic, I have tried to do extensive research about the condition and the medication.

I'm 23 years old, and to say that I have not heard about the abuse of Adderall before I was prescribed it, would be a lie. I have also read that you can grow an addiction toward the medication over time. People tend to relate addiction with abuse, but that is not the case at all. You can be prescribed a medication, it can help you with your condition, and you can still become dependent on it.

I know Adderall and other stimulants have been around for years now, but it has not been until recently the medication has become more wide spread abused and in doing that, has gained A LOT of media attention. I guess the biggest fear I have is that I do find the correct dosage for the medication, and it does help me. But what if I do become dependent on the drug? What if I get it in my head, over a year or two, that I can not fight my ADHD symptoms without it?

With increasing abuse and more media attention, I think it would be ignorant not to think that the drug has the potential to be banned all together. For those who don't know, right now Adderall is on the same level as cocaine. The drug can not be moved up any higher, as schedule I drugs are abused and have no known medical value. GHB for example was used as a general anaesthetic but because of abuse, was moved to schedule I, and it is now banned in the United States.

What do you guys think the potential for the drug to be banned is? Rumor is that most any college kid can pretty much go to their on campus medical office and be prescirbed Adderall w/o many questions. When things like that start to happen, it will start to raise eye brows all the way up to the DEA.

chartreuse
02-27-10, 12:34 AM
Look, there's no doubt that there is a certain school of thought that basically believes that anything that can possibly in any way make us feel good must be stricken from the face of the Earth. These people may use the spectre of "addiction" as their rallying cry, but in reality their mindset has more to do with the H.L. Mencken quote: "Puritanism: the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy." (This is often paraphrased as "the haunting fear that someone, somewhere might actually be having a good time," a version that may be a bit more relevant here.)

I'll spare you my opinion of what I think of people who subscribe to that school of thought (and anyway, I don't think I could express it in language that would make it past the board software). The point is that every drug that has any pleasurable side effects is at risk of being "abused," and when that risk is present, there are some people who are perfectly willing to overlook all of the benefits that drug has and argue for banning in order to "protect" us.

There's only a single thing I can think of that can be done about this, regardless of the drug in question, and that's that if and when it becomes an issue, the people who benefit from it have to speak up.

It sucks, because that probably means giving up our privacy and exposing things we'd rather not. But it's not like you're just going to wake up one morning and find that all stimulants have been banned. There is a process in place, and if this issue were to come to the forefront of public attention, I would hope that many of us would be willing to put ourselves out there and fight for our right to have effective medicine.

And anyway, you have to remember that basically the government does whatever the corporations want, and the drug companies make a TON of money off of stimulants. In fact, just forget everything else I said; this last bit is the only really important thing to remember....

ADHDTigger
02-27-10, 03:15 AM
Rumors are just that- rumors. A Sched II narcotic is NOT something that is handed about like candy. In fact, many docs refuse to prescribe the stims because of abuse potential. Add to that the fact that many ADHDers are flatly accused at least once in their lives of drug seeking.

Ima give you two different thought paths here.

First- if you were diabetic, you would be dependent on external insulin for the rest of your life. You would become dependent on it because that would be the best possible way to keep your body at a functional level. To some definitions, you would be addicted.

My partner is on a medication that he will be on for the rest of his life. This medication is the best chance he has at keeping clots out of his lungs. He is positively rigid about taking this medication in the morning and evening as prescribed. The med runs us $3600 a month.

While his attitude about the med and the lengths we go to in order to insure he has it would suggest addiction, I guarantee that the REAL addiction is a desire to stay alive. To that end, I am a proud enabler.

From this school of thinking, who cares if you are on this medication for the rest of your life? It improves your quality of life.

Another approach is to decide that you want to work towards building the necessary structures and supports that will enable you to reduce, and eventually discontinue medication. There is a long list of things that would facilitate that. Using THAT perspective, medication is merely a temporary means to an end.

There are no clear answers here. Only the perspective that you choose for yourself.

ADHD Ceilidh
02-27-10, 03:51 AM
I would say the chances of stimulants being banned for ADHD approach 0. They are one of the most closely studied med classes on Earth as they are one of the few controlled substances routinely Rxed in the pediatric population and their efficacy and safety in this poulation has been overwhelmingly supported by peer reviewed studies of high caliber that have been reproduced several times over. Not many medication classes have been so closely scrutinized and shown such overwhelming benefit.

This does not at all discount the very real and common abuse of stimulants (contrast "I lost me to meth" with Rx Desoxyn for ADHD as case in point) but when used appropriately the meds are a very effective tool in ADHD treatment. So no, they will not be banned anymore than morphine would be banned for pain control, which also will not happen. Abuse potential of an rx drug may lead to formulation / preparation changes (witness the mass conversion from dex to Vyvanse) but not outright banning.

Hope that sheds some light.

weareacc
02-27-10, 04:46 AM
+1 to all the replies above.
Listening to rumours is the trap the people who think they should be banned have fallen into. Science (and knowlege) saves lives.

Raskolnikov
02-27-10, 09:06 AM
Keep in mind that what while Adderall is abusable other stimulant meds are not. Vyvanse, for instance. So a ban on some stims would not necessarily mean a ban on all stims.

I recommend not wasting too much time getting anxious over hypotheticals. Once you start speculating, we could imagine a homeopathic FDA takeover who bans all meds that actually have a measurable pharmacological effect, or a dystopian brave new world where they make us all take Soma. For the here and now, its available, its legal, and it works.

Dizfriz
02-27-10, 11:56 AM
I have just been diagnosed with my ADHD, although I feel I have had the symptoms for some time now. I have tried out Wellbutrin for a couple moths, now I am on Adderall, and I am having mixed feelings about it (that will be another post, at another time). Being that I have never taken any medication for anything other than an antibiotic, I have tried to do extensive research about the condition and the medication.

I'm 23 years old, and to say that I have not heard about the abuse of Adderall before I was prescribed it, would be a lie. I have also read that you can grow an addiction toward the medication over time. People tend to relate addiction with abuse, but that is not the case at all.

When taken as directed the stimulants are not addictive and do not cause dependence. In fact there is good evidence that stimulant treatment of ADHD reduces the risks for later substance abuse.

As mentioned, there are non stimulant drugs available for treatment of ADHD. It might be worth your while to look into them if the addiction potential is of major concern.

You can be prescribed a medication, it can help you with your condition, and you can still become dependent on it. I know Adderall and other stimulants have been around for years now, but it has not been until recently the medication has become more wide spread abused and in doing that, has gained A LOT of media attention. I guess the biggest fear I have is that I do find the correct dosage for the medication, and it does help me. But what if I do become dependent on the drug? What if I get it in my head, over a year or two, that I can not fight my ADHD symptoms without it?There is a good parallel between ADHD and diabetes. With both you may have to take the medication the rest of your life in order to function. ADHD and diabetes are not curable and in one way or another must be attended to for the lifespan. To need something to function is not an unhealthy dependence any more than my dependence on reading glasses.

Methylphenidate (Ritalin) has been used for over 50 years and the Amphetamines (Adderall) over 70. We have a pretty good handle on how they operate and the problems involved. Do not mistake media reports as being accurate. All to often they are not. Look at the science instead, learn as much as you can about the disorder from accurate science based sources. Good accurate knowledge is the best tool for dealing with ADHD.

With increasing abuse and more media attention, I think it would be ignorant not to think that the drug has the potential to be banned all together. For those who don't know, right now Adderall is on the same level as cocaine. The drug can not be moved up any higher, as schedule I drugs are abused and have no known medical value. GHB for example was used as a general anaesthetic but because of abuse, was moved to schedule I, and it is now banned in the United States. Adderall is not equivalent to nor on the same level as cocaine. I am not aware that one can take a script and get cocaine from the local pharmacy.

The evidence shows that stimulants have distinctly different pharmacodyamic and pharmacokinetic properties* (What a mouthful, Pharmacodynamics explores what a drug does to the body, whereas pharmacokinetics explores what the body does to the drug). Again, when taken as directed they are not addictive


*Taken from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder third edition (2006) Barkley page 625 What do you guys think the potential for the drug to be banned is? Rumor is that most any college kid can pretty much go to their on campus medical office and be prescribed Adderall w/o many questions. When things like that start to happen, it will start to raise eye brows all the way up to the DEA.The stimulants can be abused and that is where the problem comes in. If you abuse stimulants then both dependence and addiction can occur and that is why the prescriptions are regulated (3 part scripts with a special license). If some physicians are prescribing unethically (and it does happen) then there is a record of the scripts and the doctor can be subject to loss of license or other disciplinary actions. Listen to rumors but try to check them out as most are wrong.

I sincerely doubt that the stimulants will be taken off the market unless there is an acceptable substitute available or the Scientologists take power.


Addon:
If you want to learn about ADHD then here are some good, accurate and science based sources.

This is a transcript of a workshop by Russell Barkley. Barkley is considered by most to be, by far, the top person in the field of ADHD. Many, including myself, consider this transcript to be the best write up on ADHD available on the internet. It is dated 2000 but most of the data is still basically pretty good. I do warn however that this is forty pages long and Barkley is information dense. It can be a bit of a struggle to work though so take your time. It is, in my opinion and in the opinion of many others, very much worth the effort. It has probably been of more help to those struggling with ADHD than any other thing I know. I am going to suggest you start with this overview and then download or read the article from there.

http://www.greatschools.net/cgi-bin/showarticle/2054

Here are two videos by Barkley that are more recent. Be aware that these are aimed more at professionals and he throws data fast and non stop. I feel that for many the transcript may be more accessible. The earlier session is on impact of ADHD as a disorder and the later one may be more use to you as he gets more into treatment. Look for a bald guy with a gray beard.

http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/mindinstitute/events/dls_recorded_events.html#dls10 The

National Resource Center on AD/HD: Funded by the CDC, it is the national clearinghouse for science-based information on ADHD. http://www.help4adhd.org/ You can ask questions her and get answers. It might be worthwhile to ask about your concerns on dependence/addiction.

Good questions that need to be addressed.

Good luck in your search for information.

Dizfriz

Maurice
02-27-10, 12:50 PM
dugup1254 You had it and it went right over your head!

DEPENDENCE DOES NOT= ADDICTION


END OF STORY

mike91163
02-27-10, 12:57 PM
Short 'n sweet-there's 4 key words to consider when discussing LEGALLY prescribed medications:

--Tolerance
--Dependence
--Addiction
--Abuse

Some go hand-in-hand, some are mistaken for one another, some exist all by themselves. Let's look...

Tolerance--A physical reaction in the body, where certain cell receptors become so used to a medication's effect that increasing doses are needed to achieve the desired result. Most commonly seen in the opiates, and other psychotropic drugs, as well as other medications (antibiotics, for example).

Dependence--A physical condition, in which termination of drug therapy results in unpleasant (and potentially life-threatening) physical effects. For example, if a chronic low-dose opiate patient stopped their meds abruptly, it's very likely that they will experience flu-like symptoms. Commonly mistaken for addiction.

Addiction--A psychological condition, in which the person has an overriding desire for increasing dosages, usually of psychotropic medications; and is usually accompanied by a disregard for legal, medical, social, or financial effects.

Abuse--The taking of a medication in a manner not properly prescribed.

Just my 2 cents' worth...

dugup1254
02-27-10, 02:24 PM
No offense, I think most of you guys are taking my post a little wrong. I am not really concerned about me; I was just using myself as an example. I am interested in learning what the community thinks the chances of an ADHD medication like Adderall or Ritalin, being banned if the current levels of abuse continue to grow.

So far, a few people have made a couple really good points on the topic.
1) The medication, although abused, is relatively safe according to many scientific researches.
2) It is very widely prescribed, which makes it much tougher to put a ban on such a medication
3) In the event the medication might be considered for a ban, there would be plenty of public outcries.

On a side note: Dizfriz, thanks for the post. I will read some of those articles that you posted. I also didn't mean that Adderall and cocaine are the same, I meant they are both classified as a level II drug. Cocaine is still used as an anesthetic, although the use is limited. I think most of the use is with eye surgery; however, I may have to double check my facts on that.

So in saying that, I guess I can go ahead and make my own point for #4.
4) If cocaine isn't banned yet, I really don't see any ADHD medication being banned.

daveddd
02-27-10, 03:28 PM
to back you up i will say that there are several doctors that will pass out adderral like candy

i know this for a fact (not that i get them like candy)


and i would guess probably 25-30% of those prescribed either defer or abuse it

and with that being said , they arent goin anywhere

birdchica
02-27-10, 08:33 PM
IMHO, I don't think stimulants are going to be banned. I think doctors might be careful about writing a script but as long as there's evidence that they're helping people, they won't become illegal. Oxycontin and Vicodin are still on the market and those drugs are notorious for abuse.

ADHD Ceilidh
02-28-10, 12:30 AM
I have never seen cocaine used in the eye, but maybe it is in the OR. I use it routinely when dealing with severe nosebleeds, which I belive is still the most common legit application (it is used in liquid form). Works beter than afrin and lidocaine any day. That is another excellent example of how the FDA will not pull drugs simply based on abuse potential.... Although most ENT specialist MDs no longer keep it in office as the insurance premiums to do so are prohibitive so it's really only found in central supply pharmacies in med-lg hospitals these days. Generally appropriate but I'm sure many old school ENTs miss having it on hand as it is a vastly superior and more convenient drug to the alternatives in almost every way from a clinician's standpoint. Alas.... Damn the 80s.

Raskolnikov
02-28-10, 12:10 PM
Adderall is not equivalent to nor on the same level as cocaine. I am not aware that one can take a script and get cocaine from the local pharmacy.

You misunderstand. The DEA has a drug "schedule" which sets the legal penalties for unauthorized sale and possession.

http://www.justice.gov/dea/pubs/scheduling.html

You will notice that Schedule II includes Amphetamine, Methylphenidate, and Cocaine. That is, illegal sale and possession of these drugs will be prosecuted identically in the US.

That is a completely separate question from whether the drugs have legitimate pharmaceutical use. Ritalin and Adderall do, cocaine doesn't.

Dizfriz
02-28-10, 01:26 PM
You misunderstand. The DEA has a drug "schedule" which sets the legal penalties for unauthorized sale and possession.

http://www.justice.gov/dea/pubs/scheduling.html

You will notice that Schedule II includes Amphetamine, Methylphenidate, and Cocaine. That is, illegal sale and possession of these drugs will be prosecuted identically in the US.

That is a completely separate question from whether the drugs have legitimate pharmaceutical use. Ritalin and Adderall do, cocaine doesn't.

I didn't research it before posting, usually a mistake.

I stand corrected. Thanks!

Dizfriz

dugup1254
02-28-10, 02:50 PM
That is a completely separate question from whether the drugs have legitimate pharmaceutical use. Ritalin and Adderall do, cocaine doesn't.

Cocaine can be used as an antistetic for surgeries, usually concerning eye and nose. A drug becomes a schedule II drug when it meets a few criteria: 1) The drug has a very high potential for abuse 2) There is a currently accepted pharmaceutical use in the USA. I'm sure there are more guidelines, but those are the two more important ones.

Secondly, after I was thinking last night, I think my debate is a little irrelivant. I came out saying, "If cocaine hasn't been banned yet, there is no way a stimulant will be." While that may be true, I'm sure the medical version of cocaine is not nearly as abused as the type imported. In fact, I would say the medical version of cocaine is probably VERY rarly absued.

Stimulants are abused on the medical level, and they are being abused by a younger, more "demographic sensitive" audience. I say "more demographic sensitive audience" because it's no longer your highschool or college kids who have already been caught with other drugs a few times, now it's Sally the "straight A" female. That makes the stories more appealing to the general public and will end up frustrating more people who will demand that a change is made.

Again guys, I didn't bring up the topic for myself. I don't like stimulants, and I will probably be off of them very shortly. I ask questions like "What if I become dependent and they get banned?" not for myself but for people may be thinking the same thing. Sorry for any confusion, I will be more careful on future posts :) Thanks for everybodys comments, it's been a great read.

daveddd
02-28-10, 03:16 PM
if medical cocaine was available to the public im sure it would be pretty highly abused

meadd823
02-28-10, 05:07 PM
cocaine sucks . . . why any one would use it is beyond me.

Stimulants are only the latest media "craze" and the media being what it is doesn't tell all of the story so here is the rest that they don't offer.

A lot of prescription medications have the potential for abuse. Last time I checked - opiate type drugs are still the most widely abused prescription drugs -

Other drugs that are abused are tranquilizers such as xanax, hypnotics as in ambien, and even steroids and diarutecis such as lasix,


People over use food - it is the abuse not the medications that is the problem - but seeing that requires common sense not may of our law making bodies have that - okay so the fear is warranted . . . I would just be a really difficult person for a couple of days but only while I was awake afterward I would just return to hyperactive space cadet I was born being

Marspider
03-02-10, 09:52 PM
Abuse of a med doesn't mean it will be banned. People have abused codeine, pain killers, Valium for decades. Have they been banned? No. I think Valium type drugs are more abused than ADHD drugs.

No offense, I think most of you guys are taking my post a little wrong. I am not really concerned about me; I was just using myself as an example. I am interested in learning what the community thinks the chances of an ADHD medication like Adderall or Ritalin, being banned if the current levels of abuse continue to grow.

So far, a few people have made a couple really good points on the topic.
1) The medication, although abused, is relatively safe according to many scientific researches.
2) It is very widely prescribed, which makes it much tougher to put a ban on such a medication
3) In the event the medication might be considered for a ban, there would be plenty of public outcries.

On a side note: Dizfriz, thanks for the post. I will read some of those articles that you posted. I also didn't mean that Adderall and cocaine are the same, I meant they are both classified as a level II drug. Cocaine is still used as an anesthetic, although the use is limited. I think most of the use is with eye surgery; however, I may have to double check my facts on that.

So in saying that, I guess I can go ahead and make my own point for #4.
4) If cocaine isn't banned yet, I really don't see any ADHD medication being banned.

Pyrrho
03-02-10, 10:05 PM
I think you're confusing two different types of dependency. Depending on a medicine to control your ADHD symptoms is different than your body physically craving a substance and needing it to prevent withdrawal.

I've never heard of someone using their ADHD medication as prescribed and ending up with the latter form of dependency (facing withdrawal).

Scarletta
03-06-10, 11:42 PM
I believe cocaine is still used medically in some eye surgery...so that's probably why it's not Schedule 1, like heroin is, for example. There still is a medical use for cocaine, apparently, although I am pretty sure only hospitals, drs, etc can use it during medical procedure.s . Obviously, you cannot go to your pharmacy and get some!

I don't think stimulants will be banned, instead, with all the drug company takeovers, they will just change the formulas so that the drugs are basically placebos, and charge us more for them. Already, Adderall XR and IR, both the brand and generics, have changed. We no longer can get the old formulas, the ones that actually worked!

Also, what about benzo addiction? Particularly Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin? Or yeah, oxycontin, and other narcotic painkillers, are widely abused. Yet no one is thinking of banning them at all. There is too much therapeutic benefit for legitimate pain.

Stimulant addiction is not physical, they say (I am not sure if I believe that), but at any rate, the withdrawal is not much worse than withdrawing from coffee...it is nothing like benzo withdrawal, or heroin or other narcotic withdrawals....

Also, stimulants take a long time to get addicted to, and generally even if you are addicted you can still function, work, etc like normal as long as you have the meds.

With painkillers and benzos, you can get addicted extremely fast, and the meds mess with your mind, as well as your body- you cannot function- you cannot drive, work, or do anything while spaced out on oxy. Your life is basically the drug anad getting the drug.

Also, Ritalin has been around for more than 50 yrs, and Adderall has been around forever too- although not marketed as "Adderall" and for ADHD/ADD until 1996- before that it was used as a diet drug.

So I don't think they will be banned as long as there are profits to be made.

TheColossus
03-09-10, 05:16 PM
Drug companies are too powerful for the government to ban stimulants.

People abuse all kinds of prescription medications, pain pills is a major one.

dreneeps
03-14-10, 02:40 PM
People abuse and die from narcotics/pain meds more than just about any other medications. They are still around. Some people need them. They are very difficult to get and are prescribed very conservatively. I have chronic pain and my pain clinic seems to reluctantly give me anything even though I have no history of abuse and in fact have a history of taking myself off many supposedly highly addictive drugs all by myself. Everyone is different. My point is abusability and potential danger coexist with completely life changing benefits. If a drug CAN safely help someone it will be prescribed they will just do much more carefully. Thus the regulation of prescriptions, dosages, and the penalties for selling or buying, etc... The system can track anything you get prescribed and pick up at a pharmacy or bill to your insurance. You doctor can quickly see what scheduled drugs you have obtained.

However, I still sometimes worry that in the event of a massive disaster I would be forced to go cold turkey on something because I couldn't just go the pharmacy and get more and that I would run out. Many of these schedule II's only allow for one month at a time so it could easily happen.