Op-Ed: Don’t let Adderall scarcity trigger a repeat of the opioid epidemic
On August 27, 2019, a new report titled “Opioid crisis and public health emergency declared in Minnesota” was released. It’s the first in a series of public health emergencies announced by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to combat the opioid crisis. This crisis is a complex public health issue that has been unfolding since the mid-1990s. This report outlines what we know and don’t know about this crisis.
At the center of this crisis are the over-prescription and over-consumption of narcotic pain medications—most notably Adderall. The misuse and abuse of these medications have been contributing factors in the opioid epidemic. In 2013, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that more than 72,000 persons died due to opioid overdose in the United States. This number is based on an estimated 47,000 overdose deaths in 2013 and a conservative estimate of 27,000 deaths from non-overdose related causes (i.e., prescription drug misuse, car accidents or suicides). Minnesota has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic. The number of new cases of opioid abuse and dependence in Minnesota is up to 4,000, according to data collected by the Minnesota Poison Control Center. And the state has seen between 200 and 500 deaths due to opioid opioid overdose. There is no way to know for certain if the deaths were directly caused by opioid misuse or abuse.
There are many factors that increase the risk of opioid misuse and abuse. Some of these factors are genetic, while others are environmental. Regardless of the cause, these conditions increase the risk of developing opioid addiction. Adderall and its generic version (modafinil) are prescription stimulants. There is a wide range in the doses of modafinil that patients can take. In general, patients should not take higher doses and should take them with caution. In addition, there is a dose ceiling for modafinil that should be adhered to so that the drug is not abused.
Adderall was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2012