An Adderall shortage is forcing some people with ADHD to reduce their work responsibilities, report says

An Adderall shortage is forcing some people with ADHD to reduce their work responsibilities, report says
Ritalin and Adderall are both equally effective in treating ADHD.Tom Werner/Getty Images
  • Some retailers including Walgreens are facing problems getting enough Adderall, Bloomberg reported.
  • The shortage has forced some people with ADHD to pare back their duties at work.

Some people with ADHD are being forced to take a step back at work amid a national shortage of Adderall.

The drug used to treat people living with ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is in short supply, with more than 60% of pharmacies struggling to obtain stock, according to a survey by the National Community Pharmacists Association.

"There are supply chain challenges with this drug," Walgreens spokesperson Rebekah Pajak told Bloomberg.

The Food and Drug Administration first reported a shortage of Adderall in September 2019, which was expected to last until May 2022, per multiple outlets. However, ongoing supply chain challenges have left those who use it struggling to cope with daily tasks.

"It has been kind of a nightmare," 36-year-old mother-of-two Camber Clemence told The Wall Street Journal. "I can't get enough done. I feel like I need to take way more breaks than I needed to take before, and I've had to shift how I work."


The shortage has been driven by both supply chain issues and rising demand. According to healthcare data company IQVIA, the number of Adderall prescriptions rose from 3 million a month in September 2019 to 3.5 million in December 2020, per LA Magazine.

Teva Pharmaceuticals, the biggest supplier of Adderall in the US, told Bloomberg in August that the rise of telehealth companies providing online mental health support during the pandemic paved the way for more ADHD diagnoses.

The company said a shortage could now last into the fall.

As Walgreens and CVS battle shortages, more people are finding their lives affected. Anthony Anderson told Bloomberg he too was struggling to maintain his productivity at work.

"I even spaced out when I'm trying to have a serious conversation with this girl to console her, but I spaced out because I'm not able to focus," he told Bloomberg. "This is a huge issue for me."


Another person called Kyle told BuzzFeed he was concerned about how his work performance would be affected without Adderall.

"I'm constantly nervous that I won't be able to get my medicine, and I'll get fired and not be able to find another job and turn back into a gross depressed garbage monster who hates himself for not being able to do his laundry," he told Buzzfeed. "I'll just be stressed and upset all the time."