Take Your Pills

Vicky Arguello, Writer

Netflix’s Take Your Pills tackles the dependence on Adderall that is growing in the American population. Composed of interviews with high schoolers, college students and Adderall users in the workplace, along with interviews with the ones who sit across the counter and write the prescriptions, Take Your Pills creates a depiction of how Adderall may be changing the concept of modern human performance.


Take Your Pills subjects, which range from wide-eyed freshmen to more weary seniors, do not look like the typical subjects of drug-focused documentaries. They all tell the same story though; they needed a boost to pass a test that would alter their grade point average and they heard that Adderall would help.


Knowing stress all too well, Emily Torres, 12 understands that students will sometimes resort to unconventional ways to help their grade.


“I feel like everyone has thought of cheating on a test or doing something like that at least once because the pressure to get a good grade is so high,” Torres said. “I feel like the stress gets the best of people in some situations.”


Unlike harmless distractions, ADHD is a chronic condition that involves difficulty focusing. An often-genetic neurological disorder, in which different parts of the brain are either underactive or overactive. Drugs like Adderall are meant to bring those parts of the brain to normal functioning levels


Taking multiple AP classes, Sam Castillo, 11, feels that a lot of people think they have ADHD or ADD when really they have normal distractions.


“There’s a difference between actually having ADHD or ADD and just having general distractions,” Castillo said. “It’s a real condition and many people who do have it find the medication helpful.”


The point of  Take Your Pills is not fully addressed until Dr. Anjan Chatterjee, the Chair of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania, gives the documentary its closing interview. “This kind of focus on material progress and productivity — what’s the cost of that? And is that a cost we’re willing to live with,” he asks.


Having watched the Netflix original, Liliana Rosales, 10, thought the documentary brought up an interesting thought.


“It’s so crazy how competitive our society really is,” Rosales said. “I never really realized that until I watched the movie on Netflix.”


Whether someone is taking Adderall or any other pill, self-medicating without a doctor’s input is ill-advised. Everyone gets distracted sometimes, and everyone procrastinates from time to time, but if you think you are suffering from ADHD, it is best to check in with a medical professional before you diagnose yourself even if it seems like everyone around you is doing it.