(WXYZ) – An alarming national shortage of a prescription drug commonly used to treat ADHD comes as students are now back in the classroom, and experts are warning other challenges could impact learning.
At Wayne State University, students work hard to further their education. But now a nationwide shortage of Adderall is catching the attention of those, some who have used the prescription drug to help them focus.
“Students are going to need it and won’t be able to get it,” said Collin Houston, a senior at Wayne State University.
As a senior environmental science and geology student, Collin hopes to one day work at the National Park Service. He is also among those who use the prescription drug Adderall to improve concentration.
“It makes it easier for me to think. Fewer distractions in my head. My thoughts don’t wander,” he said.
As for those who depend on it and can’t get it… “It’s a pretty tough time for them,” said WSU senior Sydney Linus-Aharauka.
Sydney saw her classmates’ test scores improve as a result of taking the prescription drug.
And after learning of a nationwide shortage of Adderall reported by pharmacies, parents like Kulsum Asghar are also worried; she says her son is on a similar prescription drug.
“He is much better. It helps release his anxiety,” Kulsum said.
While talking to students at Wayne State, we also asked Professor David Rosenberg, Chairman of Psychiatry, about the effect on those who are unable to treat their Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder due to problems supply.
According to the FDA, these are problems that could be caused by logistical and regulatory challenges and labor shortages.
“We know that ADHD is the most common diagnosis in children and teens, but guess what, it’s not limited to children and the biggest age increase for ADHD is in adulthood,” David said.
A National Community Pharmacists Association survey found that hundreds of independent pharmacies reported difficulty ordering Adderall this summer.
With demand growing at many pharmacies and continued delays amid record demand, experts are hopeful that wait times for prescriptions will soon decrease.
“First of all, if you’re worried, contact your doctor, they can be a big help,” David said.
Students like Collin admit growing stress from the reduced availability of a widely used drug.
“They’re going to struggle. When I go off my ADHD meds and try to go to school, it doesn’t work for me,” Collin said.
To learn more about what the FDA is advising the public about shortages, go here.