Like many college students, Kyle Lamb began taking Adderall as a freshman. At first, he got it from his friends who had prescriptions for the ADHD wonder drug. He liked it so much that when he went home for Christmas break, he decided he wanted to get the drug legally.
"I talked to my mom and was like, 'I'm buying this drug off people and it's really sketchy. I need to get my own prescription.'" Since Lamb had taken ADHD medication in middle school, his doctor in Pennsylvania had no problem writing him a prescription for Adderall.
From then on, his mother sent him refills in the mail every month — that is until September, when his mom couldn't find a single pharmacy in his hometown that had Adderall in stock. Lamb's doctor offered to write him a prescription to an alternative medication, Vyvanse, but Lamb wasn't interested.
"I want Adderall or nothing else. It's what my body is used to," he says. "Vyvanse messes me up so much that I can't even study because I'm just sitting there sweating and grinding my teeth."
Lamb says Adderall helped him stay focused in class and productive at his part-time restaurant job. "If you look at my notes from the days I take Adderall and the days that I don't, they look like they're from two different students," he says. "At work, I was a perfectionist and always keeping busy. My bosses were like, 'Awesome, Kyle took his Adderall tonight.'"
Since he can no longer get his own prescription filled, Lamb admits he's resorted to buying it from friends and fellow students who have been able to find the drug.
"I don't buy it in large quantities or anything. I went from taking it every single day to now only taking it if I have a paper due," he says. "But now that I'm a senior and the work is getting really hard, I kind of panic without it."
For the time being, Lamb expects to keep buying Adderall off of other students rather than go pharmacy hopping. To him, it's much easier and less time consuming, but it leaves him with questions. He says, "I asked my friend where I could find some Adderall the other day and she was like, 'Oh, my friend has a shit-ton.' And I just don't understand how one person has a 'shit-ton' when I can't even get my 30-pill script refilled."
He speculates that the shortage is some sort of unfair hoax, but as long as his friends are getting the drug, Lamb says it's all the same to him. Plus, he says he's ready to start weaning himself off the drug.
"If I were a freshman and had a lot more school left, I'd probably be freaking out more. But I'm graduating and I'm not planning on taking it after college, so I guess in a really backwards way the shortage is helping me get off of it."