Being a drug of choice for students over the last decade, adderall and similar amphetamines present a simple solution to the complicated issue of ADHD at all stages of life. Alison Klayman’s Netflix Original, “Take Your Pills” explores the social implications and ramifications of easy access to the drug in an increasingly stratified society.
The documentary focuses on the three areas in which adderall has reigned supreme: school, sports and business. Testimonies are given from students in all walks of life, their parents, athletes, computer programmers and entrepreneurs about their experience with the drug. Between testimonies are informational animation sequences, explaining the origins of the never-ending amphetamines list.
In focusing on the widening of opportunity gaps created by the wide use of cognition-enhancing drugs such as adderall, “Take Your Pills” drives the conversation into a largely unexplored direction. As many of the speakers in the film say, adderall is viewed as a drug to fix a problem by many of its users, not a drug to be abused for personal or financial gain. This line of questioning is uncommon in the conversation surrounding ADHD treatment and adderall, which mostly focuses on the diagnosis itself being the problem and not the method of treatment.
By choosing a dynamic path of discussion, this film already sets itself apart from other documentaries about the widespread diagnoses of ADHD. Klayman and her slew of producers have enhanced this dynamic by additionally exploring the social implications of getting a “boost” from amphetamines. Adderall, as well as other iterations of amphetamines, are schedule II drugs, requiring a prescription for legal access.
Discussing the social consequences of performance and cognitive enhancers such as adderall is incredibly important to furthering agendas of economic equality from a grassroots effort. Education is the foundation of revolution, so for those looking to even the playing field, the information presented by this documentary could prove invaluable. Whether it would serve to further or impede such goals depends on the viewer’s preference.
Bringing knowledge of the shadier side of adderall into the light, “Take Your Pills” is more than informative. It represents an intergenerational problem with addiction, which if gone unchecked, could create increasing issues for generations to come. If television and media is the opiate of the masses, take your pills and see this documentary on Netflix.
“Take Your Pills”
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 87 Minutes
Score: 4 / 5