How to help students cope with the Adderall shortage

Published: Aug. 16, 2023 at 8:24 AM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - It’s been months since the Food and Drug Administration announced a national shortage of Adderall and there’s still no sign of the drug returning anytime soon. For students that have been prescribed the medication and are heading back to the classroom, staying focused is going to be difficult.

For students that weren’t taking the medication during the summer, they may feel stronger effects than normal. That’s also true for students who are rationing medication during weekends.

Doctor Earl Soileau Jr. with Memorial LSU family medicine says that instead of cutting out the medicine altogether on the weekends it may be more helpful for them to take half instead.

“If they go two days without it then they usually have to restart at a lower dose because it’s really quick out of their system and they get unused to it very quickly,” said Soileau.

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He says taking too long of a break will cause your body to re-adjust to it, “Their going to have side effects to start with again and they won’t like the way it makes them feel.”

Professionals say there are some things you can do to help keep the focus during the shortage such as keeping the child on a daily routine. Doing homework and going to sleep at the same time each night may help.

Soileau tells KPLC that avoiding distractions at home can also be a big help, “Turn off the TV. Turn off the screens. And try to give them a very quiet environment. If you can’t do that earmuffs sometimes help, like noise-canceling earphones.”

He said you can even ask the teacher if the student can sit at the front of the class and away from extra chaos.

But one issue you may run into by limiting the drug is that your child may be more hyperactive during this time. So make sure you have an outlet for that energy.