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Adderall’s “Stupid” Factor

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Washington, DCIt’s no surprise that Adderall is constantly in the news, given the preposterous increase in diagnosed ADHD disorders. With that comes an increase in Adderall prescriptions, many of which wind up on the street.

Dr. Conners, a psychologist and professor emeritus at Duke University, told the New York Times (December 14, 2013) that recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that ADHD diagnoses had been made in 15 percent of high school-age children since 2007, and that the number of children on medication for the disorder had soared to 3.5 million from 600,000 in 1990. He calls these rising rates “a national disaster of dangerous proportions.”

A few days ago, a man attempting to break into a vehicle was arrested for felony possession of Adderall. According to The Missoulian, Jade Earl Thomas Champagne was known to police and had a history with dangerous drugs.

Adderall isn’t just for convicts and college kids. It is prevalent with athletes. Last December, Orioles relief pitcher Troy Patton was suspended by Major League Baseball (MLB) for the first 25 games of next season after he tested positive for Adderall - a banned amphetamine by the league. According to The Baltimore Sun, Patton took an Adderall pill four days before the season finished, trying to improve his short-term focus. “I took one because I was stupid,” Patton told the Sun. The drug agreement between MLB and its players’ union stipulates that 25 games is the penalty for a second positive amphetamine test. A first positive results in only six unannounced follow-up tests over the next year. Double stupid?

Also stupid is/was cardiologist Daniel McGowan, who filed a lawsuit in October 2012, accusing three doctors and an office administrator in his former practice of ruining his reputation by claiming he was addicted to drugs - namely Adderall.

The lawsuit alleges the doctors forced McGowan to go into a treatment center, and if he refused, they would turn him in to the state Licensing Board and Good Samaritan Hospital officials and accuse him of civil and criminal wrongdoing. McGowan’s lawsuit says that because he feared for his livelihood and to prove he wasn’t addicted to Adderall, he checked into the treatment center. The doctors, however, said they had the support of McGowan’s then-wife and met with McGowan in August to address concerns about his behavior after reports from members of his family, staff and co-workers about angry outbursts, mood swings, volatile behavior and suspected drug use.

During his time at the treatment center, the doctors allegedly told the public about his addiction, which resulted in McGowan’s termination. McGowan is seeking damages for emotional distress, physical and mental suffering, humiliation and injury to his reputation, and for attorney’s fees.

And Adderall isn’t just confined to real life drama and melodrama. The series Community includes an episode titled “Repilot,” where series star Joel McHale plays lawyer Jeff Winger, who was disbarred with a phony degree. Winger decides to get his real degree from mediocre Greendale Community College where he soon becomes the ringleader of a study group of misfits including a recovering Adderall addict. Stay tuned…

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