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Adderall Addiction: Lessons from a Son's Suicide

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  • Adderall Addiction: Lessons from a Son's Suicide

    Adderall Addiction: Lessons from a Son's Suicide

    By Lorie Johnson
    CBN News Medical Reporter
    Tuesday, October 22, 2013


    Fourteen million young people between the ages of 20 and 40 take the prescription drug Adderall, or one like it, to treat Attention Deficit Disorder.

    Many who take it and even those who prescribe it believe it's helpful, or at least harmless.

    But that's not always the case. For Richard Fee, his Adderall addiction led to his suicide.

    'Adderall Destroyed Him'

    Since childhood, Richard Fee lived a storybook life: straight-As, star athlete, lots of friends. Then he started taking Adderall.

    His mother, Kathy Fee, said she hardly recognized her son when he was taking Adderall.

    "It just changed his whole thought process," she recalled. "His mental process, his actions, the things that he did."

    Over the course of three years, Richard's life spiraled out of control -- until his father found Richard hanging in his closet.

    Through tears, Ricky Fee remembers that awful moment.

    "Worst possible thing you can possibly imagine," he said. "I mean here was this great kid who had everything going for him. Everything. Smart, good-looking kid, and the Adderall just destroyed him."

    Dangerous Felony

    Adderall is prescribed for people with Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADD. It works on the brain to help them focus.

    But some people who don't have ADD believe Adderall helps them focus, too, and take it to help them study.

    Richard appears to have been one of those. His father recalled a conversation when Richard was in college.

    "Richard had mentioned to me that he had gotten an Adderall from one of his friends at exam time," he said.

    Richard is not alone. An estimated one in five college students take Adderall, largely unaware of the physical danger and the legal danger. It's a felony to give your prescription to someone or use someone else's prescription.

    Richard's sister Ryan, who is currently a college student, said there is no stigma associated with taking Adderall even if you don't have ADD.

    In fact, she said students are open about it.

    "You hear in the library, during exam week, people asking each other, 'I really need an Adderall pill,'" she said. "People do offer it to each other. It's not a big deal to people on campus."

    Doctor Shopping Students

    After getting Adderall from other students, Richard soon wanted his own supply.

    Ricky Fee said the first time his son got a prescription was when he saw a doctor at college.

    "If you go to a doctor and tell them you have the signs of ADD, without any checking, they'll just give you a prescription," he said. "And that's basically what he did."
    More. Very sad.

    CBN
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

  • #2
    Love reading these anecdotal examples.....

    "Since childhood, Richard Fee lived a storybook life: straight-As, star athlete, lots of friends. Then he started taking Adderall."

    Then WTF is he doing on Adderall Mom? He could not get the drug without your permission and you say he was a star.

    For the record I never Rx the drug. Period. If a parent comes to me wanting for their kid on something because they or a teacher can't control the kid I give a referral to a Peds Psych who makes the call and takes over follow up. The drug is essentially an amphetamine. Yes it has a side effect profile. Practically everything you swallow does.

    Please don't try and tell me your kid wasn't screwed up before you started him on a medication that's given to kids that are screwed up.

    Rant over!!
    If it pays, it stays

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Frostbit View Post
      Love reading these anecdotal examples.....

      "Since childhood, Richard Fee lived a storybook life: straight-As, star athlete, lots of friends. Then he started taking Adderall."

      Then WTF is he doing on Adderall Mom? He could not get the drug without your permission and you say he was a star.

      For the record I never Rx the drug. Period. If a parent comes to me wanting for their kid on something because they or a teacher can't control the kid I give a referral to a Peds Psych who makes the call and takes over follow up. The drug is essentially an amphetamine. Yes it has a side effect profile. Practically everything you swallow does.

      Please don't try and tell me your kid wasn't screwed up before you started him on a medication that's given to kids that are screwed up.

      Rant over!!
      Uh, the kid doc shopped it on his own during college.
      "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Gingersnap View Post
        Uh, the kid doc shopped it on his own during college.
        I didn't take my Adderall today so I lost focus halfway down the article.

        We had white crosses, black beauties etc. when I was in college and somehow survived. Either of those would make an Adderall comparable to a tylenol.

        Screwed up kids in their 20's will do screwed up things. Darwin and all that.
        If it pays, it stays

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Frostbit View Post
          I didn't take my Adderall today so I lost focus halfway down the article.

          We had white crosses, black beauties etc. when I was in college and somehow survived. Either of those would make an Adderall comparable to a tylenol.

          Screwed up kids in their 20's will do screwed up things. Darwin and all that.
          White crosses.. check.. 10 cents each
          Black Beauties... check.. 2.00 each
          Yellow Jackets.. check.. 1.50
          West Coast Turnarounds.. check.. 2.00

          If I were to be addicted to anything, it would be the 'speed' derivatives.
          For a period, when I was first teaching, fresh out of the Big Green Machine, I ate white crosses like candy.

          I was teaching full time and working a 'part time job' close to 40 hrs a week.
          Did that for almost 7 years.

          I would get up in the morning, drop 2 white crosses in my coffee.
          Walk to the school I was teaching at, more coffee.
          After my second class.. two more white crosses in the coffee.
          Kept it up till I came home sometime after 9:00 pm and crashed.
          I was doing at least 10 white crosses per day.

          Yeah, I could be addicted to speed.
          If someone had turned me onto meth in '71, I would be dead now.
          Robert Francis O'Rourke, Democrat, White guy, spent ~78 million to defeat, Ted Cruz, Republican immigrant Dark guy …
          and lost …
          But the Republicans are racist.

          Comment


          • #6
            I am definitely not a risk taker. The most I would do in college is practically o.d. on over the counter diet pills. They helped me stay up (along with pots and pots of tea). Once I took a spoonful of a dormmate's cough syrup with codeine because I couldn't fall asleep the night before a final...I slept through the first hour of the final. The priest sent me home, told me to get some sleep, "stop taking whatever shit you're taking" and come back the next day to take the exam. He was surprised when I told him I took shit to go to sleep, not to stay up and refused to believe that I could get through the exam in an hour. The class was moral philosophy. He gave me back my final paper that morning, along with a copy of the exam. I was never sure if he gave me the exam by accident or if it was a test....
            Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live...
            Robert Southwell, S.J.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Gramps View Post
              White crosses.. check.. 10 cents each
              Black Beauties... check.. 2.00 each
              Yellow Jackets.. check.. 1.50
              West Coast Turnarounds.. check.. 2.00

              If I were to be addicted to anything, it would be the 'speed' derivatives.
              For a period, when I was first teaching, fresh out of the Big Green Machine, I ate white crosses like candy.

              I was teaching full time and working a 'part time job' close to 40 hrs a week.
              Did that for almost 7 years.

              I would get up in the morning, drop 2 white crosses in my coffee.
              Walk to the school I was teaching at, more coffee.
              After my second class.. two more white crosses in the coffee.
              Kept it up till I came home sometime after 9:00 pm and crashed.
              I was doing at least 10 white crosses per day.

              Yeah, I could be addicted to speed.
              If someone had turned me onto meth in '71, I would be dead now.
              Beauties were pretty amazing Gramps. The white crosses were iffy at best.
              If it pays, it stays

              Comment


              • #8
                In my neck of the woods a white cross meant the trash was getting mouthy and had matches...wth are you guys talking about?
                Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live...
                Robert Southwell, S.J.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Frostbit View Post
                  Beauties were pretty amazing Gramps. The white crosses were iffy at best.
                  My first BB.
                  In the Army at Ft Bliss.
                  I'm doing CQ duty.
                  That means, you sit at the entrance of the barracks (shit I didn't even live in the barracks, I lived off post with my wife) and watch the drunks wander in (goddamn Friday night) and make sure that nobody burns the building down.

                  3:00 am.. I'm dead...
                  A buddy walks in.. hey Gramps you ok...?
                  No, I'm dead... don't know if I'm gonna crash or die..
                  Here try this... rolls a black beauty across the desk..

                  Took it..
                  I flew until I crashed on Sunday pm.

                  Oh, btw... about 45 min after the BB ingestion, I decided to screw with a guy in my platoon in the barracks who was holding some hash.

                  So, I go up on the second floor, roust Vitrano... short Ito guy from NY.. tell him that the OD is going to search lockers... he jumps up and rifles in his locker and eats the hash....

                  He was stoned for 2 days...

                  circa 1970

                  If I'm gonna start up BB stories, I need to start up the 'Life of Gramps' series again.. the pig roast stories are amazing...
                  Last edited by Gramps; Tuesday, October 22, 2013, 5:19 PM.
                  Robert Francis O'Rourke, Democrat, White guy, spent ~78 million to defeat, Ted Cruz, Republican immigrant Dark guy …
                  and lost …
                  But the Republicans are racist.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by phillygirl View Post
                    In my neck of the woods a white cross meant the trash was getting mouthy and had matches...wth are you guys talking about?
                    It's speed but without the dramatic movie-of-the-week effects. Basically what docs all over the country prescribed to harried housewives in the 50s and 60s.

                    Now I guess Ritalin holds that niche.
                    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Gramps View Post
                      My first BB.
                      In the Army at Ft Bliss.
                      I'm doing CQ duty.
                      That means, you sit at the entrance of the barracks (shit I didn't even live in the barracks, I lived off post with my wife) and watch the drunks wander in (goddamn Friday night) and make sure that nobody burns the building down.

                      3:00 am.. I'm dead...
                      A buddy walks in.. hey Gramps you ok...?
                      No, I'm dead... don't know if I'm gonna crash or die..
                      Here try this... rolls a black beauty across the desk..

                      Took it..
                      I flew until I crashed on Sunday pm.

                      Oh, btw... about 45 min after the BB ingestion, I decided to screw with a guy in my platoon in the barracks who was holding some hash.

                      So, I go up on the second floor, roust Vitrano... short Ito guy from NY.. tell him that the OD is going to search lockers... he jumps up and rifles in his locker and eats the hash....

                      He was stoned for 2 days...

                      circa 1970

                      If I'm gonna start up BB stories, I need to start up the 'Life of Gramps' series again.. the pig roast stories are amazing...


                      PLEASE write all this stuff down.

                      Your generation is dying off and the world is losing a whole shitload of levity.
                      "Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind : which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it."

                      -John Locke

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by scott View Post


                        PLEASE write all this stuff down.

                        Your generation is dying off and the world is losing a whole shitload of levity.
                        You know he's not that old, right???
                        Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live...
                        Robert Southwell, S.J.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by phillygirl View Post
                          You know he's not that old, right???
                          I know his age and I meant no offense.
                          "Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind : which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it."

                          -John Locke

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I remember the first time I ever heard of Ritalin, some time in middle school.

                            Before long at all, we just stayed away from the "Ritalin kids." They were weird, manic, moody, and generally made enough of us uncomfortable that we just didn't want to be around them.

                            I remember this most because the first "Ritalin kid" I ever encountered was the one I considered my best friend in grade school. Paul was a very well-rounded kid. He wasn't straight-A, but he was a solid B, and pretty damn sharp, all things considered. His parents were divorced, which was still somewhat of a novelty at the time.

                            Paul's father was a shrink, and though I don't know that Paul's father put him on Ritalin, I strongly suspect it. It didn't really dawn upon me at the time, and I wouldn't have understood it at that age anyway, but I remember that suddenly, Paul would have to "take his pill" every afternoon after school. We would hang out together constantly, and his mother was, at best, far less than happy about it, but what struck me was that Paul's father would come around in the afternoon to "check up on Paul," which I strongly suspect meant make sure Paul took the pill.

                            Soon after this started, Paul got ... weird. I just didn't want to be around him any more. He would talk about weird things, dark things, darker than your usual ten-year-old really wanted to hear. And so we later drifted apart in life soon after high school started. Paul eventually was pulled out of school and sent to a series of different (what were then called) "reform schools," though the nicer ones were politely referred to as "boarding schools." Well, I went to a boarding school, and I know the difference.

                            In about the middle of my junior year, I learned that Paul had "escaped" from his "boarding school" (yes, the word was "escaped"), and had stolen a car, and eventually managed to break into a house and steal a shotgun. He didn't hurt the home-owners, but he did wind up sticking up two liquor stores and a convenience market that night, and was caught three days later. He didn't even remember what had happened (at least according to him), but the entire incident was triggered by his refusal to take any more of the MAOIs (I think) that they were feeding him to keep him docile at the "boarding school." He wound up in prison for twenty-odd years and the last I heard about him was about ten years ago when my father happened to go to his mother's funeral, and everyone there told about how Paul was doing so much better now that he had finally gotten off of the "medicine."

                            I don't know where Paul is now, though I suspect that he's working some relatively menial job somewhere, probably off of probation at this point. But he certainly seems to me like yet another casualty of our "take a pill" culture that, AFAIC, has been absolutely damning to our society. I think that it's wonderful to have drugs and drug therapy available to help people who have serious mental problems. It means a world of difference to those people. But I am very firmly convinced that in many ways it's a self-fulfilling prophecy, and it's completely irresponsible for us as a society both to assume that these drugs "cure" everything (which led to millions of mentally disturbed people being turned out on the street thanks to a judicial ruling in the late '70s) and to assume that there are that many people, children or adults, who actually need these drugs. Nowadays, damn near anything is considered a "mental illness," and it's a very dangerous road indeed.

                            I personally watched mental illness happen, before anyone goes off trying to lecture me about mental illness. I've actually seen what it looks like inside of a mental hospital (hint: it doesn't look anything like the movies). My (then) wife spent a month in a psychiatric ward, and I was there literally every waking moment that I was not at work. So I know what mental illness looks like. I also know without any doubt whatsoever that what put my wife in the psychiatric ward was these very same drugs that allegedly "cure" mental illness. These are powerful, dangerous drugs that are prescribed far, FAR too often. That over-prescription leads to these drugs becoming street drugs that people abuse, thereby creating more mental illness, and the vicious cycle continues.


                            Personally, if some shrink or "school counselor" or whoever told me that my child (if I had any) needed to go on some psychotropic drug, I would tell them that they have to take ten times the dosage as my child every day, and then see what their response would be. My father takes an aspirin a day; I could readily take ten and it would not cause me to become psychotic or do me other harm (though I'd probably develop an ulcer over time at that dosage). Let's see the people who are pushing these drugs on children do the same. If they're not willing to take them, then maybe the kids shouldn't be taking them, either.
                            It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
                            In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
                            Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
                            Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Gramps View Post
                              White crosses.. check.. 10 cents each
                              Black Beauties... check.. 2.00 each
                              Yellow Jackets.. check.. 1.50
                              West Coast Turnarounds.. check.. 2.00

                              If I were to be addicted to anything, it would be the 'speed' derivatives.
                              For a period, when I was first teaching, fresh out of the Big Green Machine, I ate white crosses like candy.

                              I was teaching full time and working a 'part time job' close to 40 hrs a week.
                              Did that for almost 7 years.

                              I would get up in the morning, drop 2 white crosses in my coffee.
                              Walk to the school I was teaching at, more coffee.
                              After my second class.. two more white crosses in the coffee.
                              Kept it up till I came home sometime after 9:00 pm and crashed.
                              I was doing at least 10 white crosses per day.

                              Yeah, I could be addicted to speed.
                              If someone had turned me onto meth in '71, I would be dead now.
                              Damn, that's hardcore. I don't think I ever took more than 2 or 3 a day, even when I was working full-time, going to school full-time and living with crazy people. As for addiction, I think some people have the gene and some don't. I did better living through chemistry for the last couple of years I was in school, graduated and walked away from it without a backward look. A friend of mine took exactly the same stuff and lost everything (job, house, car, self-respect) before she hit bottom and got clean and sober.
                              "Think as I think," said a man,
                              "Or you are abominably wicked;
                              You are a toad."
                              And after I had thought of it,
                              I said: "I will, then, be a toad." - Stephen Crane

                              Comment

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