Oxford Adderall shortage affects students’ ability to focus


Photo by Viviana Selvaggi

Miami student Katie Usher has been forced to go off of her prescribed medication because of shortages.

By Viviana Selvaggi

Local pharmacists say certain ADHD medications have not been available in Oxford for the past four months.

Students at Miami University who have taken Adderall their entire lives are now unable to receive their prescriptions, affecting their education.

Katie Usher, a senior at Miami, has taken a prescribed dose of extended-release Adderall for the past eight years.  

For the first time in eight years, she has been deprived of her medicine, in the middle of the school year.

“School has been harder,” she said. “It’s been harder to focus since I’ve been on it for eight years. I am definitely less productive, so it has been extremely difficult for me,” she said.

She receives her prescriptions from the local Walgreens pharmacy but said she has been unable to refill her prescription for months, and so has been going without.

“It’s annoying and frustrating. I hate having to call a million people in order to get it, and trying to figure out who has it and who doesn’t because there’s nothing my doctors can do about it, and the pharmacies aren’t really helpful,” Usher said.

Walgreens tells its customers to call every day, in case a shipment comes in.

Walgreens’ pharmacists also tell customers to try calling other pharmacies such as Kroger or CVS. These pharmacies are all operating on a first come first served base right now, they said on the phone.

Usher, who is from Illinois, said she tried going home to get her prescriptions.

“They just say ‘I don’t know when we’re going to have it,’ and the pharmacies at home haven’t had any there either,” she said. 

Other students have struggled to refill other amphetamine prescriptions as well.

Abby Elam, Oxford native and junior and Miami, said she had to switch the type of pill she takes in order to receive some dose. 

“My pharmacy is family-owned, and they experienced a shortage of Concerta, which is what I’ve been taking for my ADHD for over a year and a half,” she said.

Elam said she reluctantly switched her pill and dose to Adderall extended release 20 mg. She needs to visit her doctor monthly to refill her prescription.

“I was really annoyed that I couldn’t stay on Concerta. I think it’s crazy there’s a shortage because some people really do need it,” she continued. “However, I am grateful because I know my mental health would be affected by not having it.”

As this problem continues, and pharmacists don’t seem to have an answer as to when patients will be able to receive their medicine with no issues, students continue to worry.

Pharmacists at Walgreen and CVS acknowledged the problem but did not speak on the record.

“I have experienced people coming up to me asking for my doctor and my pharmacy information because they were not getting their medicine at Walgreens or CVS,” Elam said.