Editor, Daily Nexus,
After reading Adam Wenger’s column (“Adderall Keeps You at Her All Day,” Daily Nexus, Nov. 20, 2006), I am appalled at such advocacy of the unprescribed use of this drug. It is this type of abuse that has made the prescribing of stimulant drugs more of a hassle for legitimate users. Stimulant drugs are most commonly prescribed to those patients diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. The unprescribed use of stimulants is so rampant that the government has put into place specific procedures for prescribing stimulants. The prescription must be filled out on a special type of prescription pad that has many security features similar to a check, including a heat-sensitive logo. However, what makes the prescribing of stimulants a hassle for legitimate users is the fact that they are unable to get refills.
Any time they need more of their medication, they must call up their doctors and have a paper prescription sent to them which they must then take to the pharmacy to have filled. It is this restriction that turns what would normally be a five to 10 minute trip to the pharmacy into a thirty-minute wait at Costco or an hour-long wait at Rite Aid.
I recognize that some of the problem lies in the overdiagnosis of ADD, although many cases are accurate diagnoses. Additionally, there are some people who abuse their prescriptions of stimulants by selling them to their unprescribed peers. However, that, along with a growing self-diagnosis movement by people in their twenties and thirties as reported by The New York Times last year have made the abuse of prescription stimulants all too common.
When you publicize the nonprescription use of stimulants, you are doing a disservice to all those who are legitimately prescribed. These people, in many cases, have to keep their usage a secret or lock up their medication for fear that it will be stolen. Please think twice about publishing future editorials that advocate similar actions.