Adderall Shortage in Charlotte Area
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - "I really, honestly, started to panic," says Monroe resident Sharon Kirch. She has been taking Adderall for an attention deficit disorder for 17 years. When she was recently unable to get her prescription filled due to a national shortage, she immediately made plans to take a different drug, one she doesn't like as much, in the interim. She says taking nothing is not an option. "I went four days and it's not a pleasant experience."
"We've had a real problem with Adderall-type medicine this year," says Charlotte pharmacist Jesse Pike of Pike's Pharmacy. He calls the Adderall shortage a "very serious situation." The Drug Enforcement Administration regulates how much of the controlled substance's active ingredient can be distributed to manufacturers every year, some say in an effort to curb recreational abuse of the drug. But critics say the DEA's efforts punish the increasing number of people who really do need it. In 2010, more than 18 million prescriptions were written for Adderall. That's up more than 13 percent from 2009, according to a recent Reuters report.
Pike says that trend is playing out here in Charlotte, too: prescription Adderall use is up. He says his ability to fill the prescriptions is hit or miss. Many customers wait, "Maybe five to ten days," Pike says. He recommends Adderall users hit the phones to find the pharmacies that may have gotten a shipment. But for Kirch, that recommendation doesn't work. She says, "I actually did not feel like calling around to pharmacies because you actually do feel like a drug addict when you have to keep calling around, you feel stupid."
She'll wait it out and as soon as the shortage eases, "I'll definitely go back to Adderall," says Kirch.
The good news, Pike says, is that with the new year, he expects the shortage to ease up in the next 30 to 45 days. He also says that if you're willing to spend upwards of $75 on a bottle of name brand, extended release Adderall, that product is in good supply.