In today’s society it has become an unfortunate commonplace to abuse prescribed substances such as most opioids, Adderall, and Xanax. These medications are prescribed to those who need help to cope with certain issues such as pain or anxiety. Many find ways to get a hold of these drugs by trying to get them from those who already have a prescription or cheat the system by getting a doctor to willingly misdiagnose them. This is exactly what the recent Netflix documentary “Take Your Pills” addresses, specifically focusing on the most well known medication that is prescribed for ADD and ADHD: Adderall.

The documentary included interviews with people who shared their personal experience with the drug whether they were prescribed it or not, as well as credible sources that were able to give concrete evidence about Adderall and its effects. Many of those who were interviewed about their personal experiences discussed the effect that Adderall had played in their own lives and the lives of others. For example, most felt that their experience with Adderall was to get ahead of the game when it came down to finishing tasks well rather than wanting to know whether or not they had ADD or ADHD. Many even admitted to wanting to get tested to see if they have the disorder solely for the purpose of getting Adderall.

While the documentary included many credible sources such as the Professor and Chair of Neurology at Pennsylvania Hospital Anjan Chatterjee, and Dr. Wendy Brown the Professor of Political Science, it lacked credibility when it came to numerical evidence. The documentary mentioned a study that showed the effects of Adderall versus the effects of placebo, but it failed to address the statistics of the results. Instead, the only part of the research that was revealed was that the results showed no major difference between the two other than one difference which was the fact that the drug helped enhanced one’s cognition. In this instance the evidence should have been clearer and less one-sided so the whole picture would be revealed instead of a small piece of it. 

Overall, the documentary was very well constructed as the graphics were able to make the viewers think because they are done in a way that makes it seem as if one was experiencing Adderall as the show progressed. Although the documentary was clearly biased at times, the bias was able to add to the main point and it successfully helped to show and emphasize an important and overlooked side of the Adderall epidemic that faces America today.




Mari Hernandez // Opinion Editor

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