Ongoing Adderall shortage

By Samantha Smith

The Food & Drug Administration declared an Adderall shortage in October 2022 and after six months, it’s still ongoing. The shortage has brought concerns to those who use the medication for health needs.

Adderall is a medication for people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. As stated by Lee Health, Adderall is used to “improve focus and reduce impulsivity by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain.”

The shortage of Adderall is because the companies making the medication are experiencing manufacturing delays and not making enough of the medication to meet demands.

As stated by the FDA, “Teva, is experiencing ongoing intermittent manufacturing delays. Other manufacturers continue to produce amphetamine mixed salts, but there is not [a] sufficient supply to continue to meet U.S. market demand through those producers.”

Youngstown State University has resources available for students during the shortage. Gina McGranahan, the associate director of Accessibility Services, said it can provide students with accommodations in the classroom.

“It depends on what the student needs. All accommodations are always based on what the students need. So, if it’s a concentration issue and they’re taking tests, we can give them extra time to take their test in a quiet place with limited distractions,” McGranahan said. 

McGranahan also said Accessibility Services can help students in the classroom and on campus, but would recommend students to talk with their physician about prescriptions.

“I don’t know what kind of medication [the student] should be taking or anything like that, so we always refer them back to their prescribing professional,” McGranahan said.

Students have mentioned their thoughts and concerns about the shortage. Luke Franks, a sophomore electrical engineering major, said he thinks it’s dangerous for those prescribed Adderall to suddenly not receive it.

“It’s a very powerful drug, and I think it’s very questionable that [doctors] prescribe it so willy-nilly to children,” Franks said. “The fact of the matter is a lot of people have been relying on this drug for quite a few years and to make all those people cold turkey could be dangerous and harmful to them. Even ignoring switching to a new drug or something, I just think it’s scary and dangerous.”

McGranahan said it is important for students to register for Accessibility Services even when it is not necessary because of situations like the shortage coming up.

“I always tell students that it’s better to be registered and not need Accessibility Services than need Accessibility Services and not be registered,” McGranahan said. “If something like this comes up, then they can always come in and talk to us and we can see what accommodations can be made to assist them.”

The FDA has said it will continue to monitor supplies and assist manufacturers during this shortage. The agency stated it will keep an updated list of alternatives to the medication and manufacturers.

For updates about the shortage, visit the FDA’s website. Students can visit the Accessibility Services office on the second floor of Kilcawley Center or visit its website.