Today (2/3) in the New York Times, the death and downward spiral of Richard Fee due to his addiction to the ADHD drug Adderall is chronicled.
Richard Fee was a smart, bright, aspiring medical student before his addiction to ADHD medication took him down a road on which where his father would implore Richard’s doctor not to prescribe him any more medication begging, “You’re going to kill him.” And to a place where after that same doctor prescribed Richard one last 90 day supply, Richard would hang himself in his bedroom closet two weeks after his Adderall prescription ran out.
What happend to Richard was a tragedy. It demonstrates and illustrates perfectly all of the pitfalls and shortcomings of our medical system. But the failings of this system and Richard’s story present a more profound question: who is responsible for this death, who is at fault?
Is it Richard’s doctors who prescribed him the drugs? Should Richard’s parents be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against these doctors? What about the pharmaceutical company or companies that manufacture these drugs? And what about the school officials and counselors who push parents in the direction of medicating our children because they can’t sit still or speak out in class? If these drugs are susceptible to abuse in such a way that can lead to what happened to Richard, should we not hold these companies responsible for his death?
We post these questions as an attempt at a serious discussion regarding the abuse and over prescribing of these medications and the impact this is having on young people and their families and our communities. And we welcome your comments and thoughts.
So, let’s know what you think.