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'They’re going to struggle.' National Adderall shortage worrying Michigan students with prescriptions

Posted at 2:04 PM, Sep 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-20 18:21:37-04

(WXYZ) — An alarming national shortage of a commonly used prescription drug to treat ADHD comes as students are now back in class, and experts warn there could be further challenges impacting learning.

At Wayne State University, students are hard at work pursuing their education. But now, a nationwide Adderall shortage has attention of those, some who’ve used the prescription drug to help them focus.

"Students are going to need it and not be able to get it," said Collin Houston, a senior at Wayne State University.

As a senior studying environmental science and geology, Collin hopes to one day work in the National Park Service. He’s also among those using the prescription drug Adderall to improve concentration.

"It makes me think easier. Less distractions in my head. My thoughts won’t wander," he said.

As far as those who rely on it and can't get it ... "It’s a pretty tough time for them,” said Sydney Linus-Aharauka, a senior at WSU.

Sydney has watched classmates tests scores improve as a result of taking the prescription drug.

And after learning of a national Adderall shortage reported by pharmacies, parents like Kulsum Asghar are concerned as well; she says her son takes a similar prescription drug.

"He’s doing much better. It helps release his anxiety,” said Kulsum.

While talking with students at Wayne State, we also questioned Professor David Rosenberg, chair of psychiatry, about the effect on those unable to treat their attention deficit hyperactivity disorder due to supply issues.

Those are issues the FDA says could be caused by logistical and regulatory challenges and worker shortages.

"We know that ADHD is the most common diagnosis in children and adolescents, but guess what, it's not limited to children and the biggest age increase for ADHD is in adulthood," said David.

A survey from the National Community Pharmacists Association found hundreds of independent pharmacies reported difficulty ordering Adderall this summer.

With soaring demand at many pharmacies and ongoing delays coming amid record high demand, experts hope prescription wait times will drop soon.

"First and foremost, if you're concerned, reach out to your physician, they can be of a lot of help," said David.

Students like Collin admit to rising stress, tied to lowered availability of a medication widely used.

"They’re going to struggle. When I go off my ADHD meds and try to go to school, it doesn’t work for me,” said Collin.

For more on what the FDA is advising the public regarding shortages, go here.