New York Times Magazine: Generation Adderall (Psychologist Harris Stratyner Ph.D. – Quoted)

Harris Stratyner, a psychologist and addiction specialist at the Caron Treatment Center in Manhattan, told me that each year he’s in practice, he sees more people desperate to get off Adderall. Stratyner estimates that he has treated more than 50 patients trying to stop using the drug; currently, they range in age from 24 to 40. His Adderall patients are overwhelmingly creative people who wanted to work in the arts — yet, he says, many have chosen other paths, safer paths, resigning themselves before they’ve even really tried to achieve what they hoped for. “They often give in to practicality,” he says. “Then they feel they missed out. And when they take Adderall, it makes them feel good, so they don’t focus on the fact that they feel like they sold out.” Many people are using Adderall to mask a sense of disappointment in themselves, Stratyner says, because it narrows their focus down to simply getting through each day, instead of the larger context of what they’re trying to build with their lives. “It becomes extremely psychologically and physiologically addictive,” he says. “It’s really a tough drug to get off of.” The side effects of Adderall withdrawal that his patients report include nausea, chills, diarrhea, body aches and pains, even seizures. Occasionally, it is necessary for him to hospitalize his patients as they come down off Adderall.


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