ADHD Drug Prescriptions Increased Significantly During the COVID-19 Pandemic

People between the ages of 20-39 and women saw the largest increase in ADHD drug prescriptions.


A new study published in JAMA Psychiatry finds that prescriptions meant to treat ADHD significantly increased in the US during the COVID-19 pandemic. The current research, headed by Grace Chai of the US Food and Drug Administration, notes that the increase in ADHD drug prescriptions was most notable for young adults and women. This research also reveals that prescriptions for all the drugs they examined initially dropped with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, likely due to pandemic-related disruptions to healthcare access.

“Trends for C-II stimulants and non-stimulant ADHD drugs significantly changed during the pandemic, exceeding pre-pandemic trends after an initial drop at the onset of the pandemic,” the researchers write, “trends did not significantly change for buprenorphine MOUD, antidepressants, or benzodiazepines.”

You've landed on a MIA journalism article that is funded by MIA supporters. To read the full article, sign up as a MIA Supporter. All active donors get full access to all MIA content, and free passes to all Mad in America events.

Current MIA supporters can log in below.(If you can't afford to support MIA in this way, email us at [email protected] and we will provide you with access to all donor-supported content.)



  1. What are people going to do when the supply chains break? Not if. When.

    ADHD, a huge net in its diagnostic criteria and easily flexible onto subjective readings, is giving the average person permission to be dependent on stimulant drugs and they don’t even know how ADHD functions nor do they really ask. The elites have won. People are easily swayed.

    Of course your quality of life will improve if you can think faster and take on more stimuli in an environment which rewards it. I am amazed at people still vomiting up drivel from the 90s about “the medications affecting you differently”, this is a myth, the criteria for ADHD is simply too large for that to be true imho.

    It is totally normal for one overstimulated brain which is resisting modes of organization and mental homeostasis to exhibit signs of ADHD. permitting the individual to rapidly organize the portions of their brain day after day that they normally can not get to due to exhaustion is a logical and entirely subjective conclusion, not a biological one. To me, this is like marveling at fertilizer helping a wilting plant grow then asserting that the wilting could not have been caused by lack of food or water or poor soil conditions. Anyone can simply claim at this stage of capitalism that they aren’t hitting their peak performance and will be pitied, treated as medical legitimacy. What they are really buying is the service of exceptionalism if you ask me. They are buying permission to keep pushing it which emboldens burnout culture and ignores the physical signs of exhaustion from an overstimulated and / or overloaded mental state.

    There is a conflation of natural common processes and brain states to a default, base, “problematic” “disordered” state. Meanwhile non medical methods such as community support, long term commitments to reorganization, asking for accommodations at work — very viable options have noses turned against them as they’re deemed “too slow on returns” despite not carrying the huge risks of addiction and dependence.

    Most test boundaries still only looks at a 2 week scope still, right? What a nightmare.

    Instead of piling more onto the individual so they feel they are “surviving”, we should improve the quality of life and tackle the socioeconomic boundaries that prevent people from staying stable in the first place.
    This pathology blinds people from their economic truths. I am filled with sorrow at my inability to convince people otherwise because the rewards for participating are simply too high right now. These pills simply put feel too good and let people be the work force gold performers that the dying American dream has promised them their whole life. To many, it’s a chance to finally participate. And how could we deny that?

    Report comment