My Personal Adderall Shortage Is Over . . . Or at Least Paused

DEA policy harms the public it is supposed to protect.

Addison's Agenda

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On February 10, I wrote about the Adderall shortage in the US and how going without the drug affected me as a person with both Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS). At that point, I had been out of generic Adderall for about a month and was really starting to feel the withdrawal symptoms. The irritability was making working in an office setting taxing, to say the least. Daily nausea, cramping, and the occasional feeling that I was about to vomit lasted until early March.

In addition to those symptoms, I had to deal with the reemergence of all the symptoms that Adderall was helping to suppress. I lost the ability to focus on anything uninteresting for more than a few minutes at a time. My loss of impulse control had me eating pizza multiple times a week or buying random foods at the grocery store, resulting in me regaining 12 of the 15 pounds I had recently lost. Without the analgesic effects of a central nervous stimulant, I was in constant pain.

All of that came to an abrupt halt Thursday, May 4, when I was finally able to get my prescription filled. The changes were immediate and drastic. At least, they seemed drastic after four months of having no treatment at all. (Behavioral modifications just don’t cut it.) I also noticed that other sensations and difficulties I had were diminished, some of which I didn’t realize were affected by Adderall until I was cut off from and later reintroduced to the drug.

Since I wrote about all the issues going without Adderall caused me, I thought I should write about its effects since restarting. It only seems fair.

The best way I’ve found to describe ADHD is having a brain that functions like a radio that is slightly out of tune. (This isn’t my analogy, but I can’t find where I first saw it, so if you know who deserves the credit, please leave a comment.) The thought you want to follow or the task you need to be doing is the channel that you’re trying to tune in to, but since you’re not locked onto the channel, there are lots of other signals that are coming in at the same time. Sometimes, these other channels are a loud background in…

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Addison's Agenda

Addison Smith is an LGBTQ+ and disability educator and activist living in the Midwest with their cat. They/She. More info at https://addisonsagenda.com