Bill C-15 proposes clasifying Adderall and other ADHD drugs as a hard drug

Bill C-15, currently just past the first reading in the parliament, proposes, among other things, moving all amphetamines, even the types approved for treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), from Schedule III to Schedule I.

This would put drugs containing any type of amphetamine, such as the widely used Adderall, in the same category as heroin, phencyclidine (PCP), and methamphetamine.

Moving all amphetamines to Schedule I technically does not make it impossible for ADHD patients to obtain Adderall, but it would make it practically impossible for doctors to prescribe it for prolonged use outside hospital settings. It also serves no purpose in containing recreational use of methamphetamine, a very addictive subtype of amphetamine, as it is already separately classified under Schedule I. To have this kind of grave error, even in the first draft of the bill, is a complete embarassment for the Canadian government. Had it sought consultations from medical experts, the error would have been pointed out immediately. It’s another proof that the current government’s drug policy is driven by social conservative paranoia, not scientific facts.

Correction: In its original version, this post made the mistake of confusing Schedule I set by United States Drug Enforcement Administration and Schedule I set by Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) of Canada. While the term “Schedule I” is used to classify drugs considered most dangerous in both countries, Canada does not completely prohibit use of Schedule I for valid medical reasons.

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