Kids today don’t know how good they got it. Back in my day, if you wanted to get a fix of amphetamines on top of a sugar rush, you had to purchase your speed and candy from two different vendors. Luckily for the new generation of youngsters, they’ll never know our hardships, since that the good people at Neos Therapeutics have released Adzenys, a new candy-flavored amphetamine-based ADHD drug.
As you might imagine, not everyone is crazy about the idea of candy-flavored speed being made available to children, much less being aggressively marketed toward them. Neos Therapeutics has a “sales team of approximately 125 highly qualified sales representatives” pushing Adzenys on the nation’s “physicians who are most actively treating children with ADHD… ahead of back-to-school season,” according to the transcript of a recent company meeting previously reported by High Times.
Many believe that Adderall is already over-prescribed and certainly abused, both by those prescribed the drug and others who aren’t. Putting amphetamines into candy-flavored units which come in blister packs (the type of container Dentyne gum comes in) is “a recipe for people to request it and then sell it,” as child psychiatrist Dr. Mukund Gnanadesikan put it when speaking to STAT News. “I’m not a big fan of controlled substances that come in forms that can be easily abused — and certainly a chewable drug falls into that category,” Gnanadesikan said.
Of course, there are circumstances where making medicine as easy to take as possible for children severely affected by ADHD could be a good thing. But those relatively few circumstances should probably weighed against the potential for abuse. 75 percent of kids diagnosed with ADHD take drugs for it, though the Center for Disease Control advises that parents resort to medication only after trying behavioral therapy. Making those drugs into candies and then sicking a “sales force” on the pediatricians of America probably isn’t going to make that percentage go down.
Meanwhile, marijuana-infused edibles have faced more legal scrutiny for attracting kids than Adzenys, even though cannabis products don’t have anywhere near the side effects that amphetamines have, which include “increased heart rate and irregular heartbeat, increased blood flow and unusual blood pressure, rapid breathing,” and, “tremors, shaking, twitching, and spasms.”
Seeing as how cannabis has been shown to improve symptoms of ADHD all by itself, maybe some of these patients should swap out their speed candy for medicated gummies.
Photo via Flickr user Mauren Veras