Your Human Capital on Adderall

Netflix Documentary “Take Your Pills” Talks About Using Adderall in a Competitive Society


Chandler Cooper, Content Editor

In an era where our attention span…. wait I got a notification… OK. In an era where our attention span escapes into our ever distracting world of immediacy, the Netflix documentary “Take Your Pills” focuses on the use of stimulants, particularly Adderall, in our everyday lives.

Director Alison Klayman takes us into a world where the pressure to come out on top in a hypercompetitive society puts a strain on certain individuals leading them to take drugs like Adderall in order to obtain an edge on the competition; however, some realize the competition is already fairly familiar with the drug as well.

Writing a so-called shortened synopsis of this documentary is rather difficult because the film touches on numerous complicated topics and sub-topics throughout.

Ironically enough, the focus of the documentary was rather sporadic with topic after topic introduced unconventionally. However, every second of the film kept my highly distracted-self intrigued even though it became rather overwhelming at times.

The main takeaway is a simple concept – drugs are bad, m’kay.

The film mentions an Adderall epidemic in the United States while linking direct-to-consumer advertising, doctors over-diagnosing Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and over-prescribing stimulants to individuals as a potential cause of the so-called epidemic.

Through various interviews with college students, those with hectic work environments, parents, doctors, psychologists and others, the film explores how Adderall and other amphetamines impact each of their lives.

The history of ADD, the beginning of amphetamines and the drug culture of the United States is also explored.

What’s alarming is the number of children that are placed on these drugs at young ages with unwanted side effects and an increased likelihood of addiction as a potential outcome.

Many compelling questions arise during the documentary. Are we a society that over-medicates? We take pills to stay awake, pills to stay asleep, pills to eat, pills to not eat, etc.

When does it reach a point that we begin to medicate normal human functions?

The question of whether these drugs are even enhancing performance or just enhancing one’s ability to feel like they are performing better arises as well.

Overall, the documentary left me with more questions than answers; however, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

As someone who has been diagnosed with ADD since middle school, the film leaves me wondering if I even have the disorder or if I’m just a product of my society.