With sweet, orange-flavored ADHD pill, it's easier to turn kids into meth heads
Welcome to the United States of Amphetamine.
Here, marijuana can't taste like candy, because kids might eat it. California lawmakers are currently attempting to outlaw marijuana edibles that look like candy or animals or fruit.
But, in America, we intentionally fabricate amphetamines to taste like candy, because we want our kids to eat more meth.
That's right: recently the FDA approved an ADHD med that is flavored orange and dissolves in your kids' mouth. It's called Adzenys XR-OCT, and it's approved for kids over 6. Its main chemical is basically adderall, which is basically amphetamine, which is basically meth.
As far as anyone can tell, this is the first Schedule 2 controlled substance that has been manufactured to be more appealing to kids. And what could go badly when a Schedule 2 drug tastes like a Tic Tac?
Certainly not sales. The Texas-based company that makes Adzenys, Neos Therapeutics, says that prescriptions increased by 20 percent per month over each of the past few months. Its stock jumped 40 percent after it introduced the drug. And the company's CEO, Vipin Garg, said the company ramped up its sales campaign before the start of the school year.
Kids love it, but health experts hate this stuff. Adzenys's approval was a sign that the FDA is "morally disintegrating," psychiatrist Alexander Papp told Stat News. “What’s next?” Papp scoffed. “Gummy bears?”
He has a point. Strawberry-sweet cocaine would never fly, would it? Or grape-flavored PCP?
It's yet another sign of the overmedication of children, critics say; that when parents see kids jumping off the walls or talking nonstop, they don't see it as a sign of childhood, or a plea that kids should be let loose to run around in the world, but as a disease to be cured with medicine. Because of that attitude, ADHD diagnoses have more than quadrupled in the last two decades. Pill popping follows; more than 6 percent of all kids are medicated.
This country is full of mixed messages on drugs: don't do mushrooms, even though they're harmless — drink alcohol, even though it ruins livers. And even on the particular drugs that treat ADHD, the government can't get its story straight. Even as one part of the government, the FDA, approves candy meth, another part of the government, the CDC, suggests that more kids could benefit from behavior therapy, rather than drugs.
Neos says it's just helping out, that more than half of pediatric patients have difficulty swallowing pills. Neos is now pushing for government approval of a Ritalin pill that also reminds your kid of Dots or Nerds. It should be out by the fall — just in time for school.
In the meantime, though: hide all weed products that look like candy.