Strict drug regulations limit legitimate use

Adderall has a schedule two classification, similar to cocaine and meth.

Adderall has a schedule two classification, similar to cocaine and meth.

Photo by Kate

Adderall has a schedule two classification, similar to cocaine and meth.

President Richard Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act into law in 1970. Since then, it has created problems for millions of Americans. Most people know the important narcotics classified under the law: heroin, marijuana, cocaine and meth.

If you’re not familiar with the law, it separates narcotics into schedules, or categories, which determine how accessible controlled substances are, along with minimum punishments for violating any restrictions. Schedules range from one to five, with one being the most severe.

For example, heroin and marijuana are schedule one substances while cocaine and meth are schedule two. Some would argue that the fact that the law creates a false equivalency between heroin and marijuana is enough already to prove that the whole thing is a joke. Many believe the law needs to be substantially revised or repealed, and I agree. There are also less talked about issues that arise from how certain drugs are classified, specifically Adderall.

Adderall is classified under the Controlled Substances Act as schedule two, equating it to meth and cocaine. For those unaware, Adderall is most often used to address ADD, or Attention Deficit Disorder.

For people without ADD, the schedule two classification is fairly accurate as it can be extremely addicting and have similar effects to meth or cocaine. Things get complicated when we consider that people with moderate to severe ADD rely on their medication to function.

Adderall’s classification as schedule two doesn’t prevent people from filling their prescription, but it does make every part of accessing it extremely difficult.

Because of its classification, it is illegal for your doctor to allow any refills on your prescription. That means you have to call your doctor every time you get close to running out and they have to write a whole new prescription.

You also have to wait until you have a certain amount of days left of your 30 day prescription before you’re able to call in for it. So, if that window falls on a busy first week of school and a holiday weekend, like mine did, you’re having to take your last dose of the month the morning you call in for a new prescription.

The bureaucratic hoops you’re forced to jump through to get a prescription you need to have an attention span longer than a goldfish is ridiculous.

People with ADD are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act, meaning the federal government has the obligation to make this right. The Controlled Substances Act needs to be reformed for many reasons, but access to Adderall for those who need it is a crucial addition.