Thursday, April 16, 2020

So I Googled "Donald Trump" + "Adderall"

When it's still too cold to get into the garden, and you can't really go anywhere else in this Plague Year, you decide to check out the rumors. Believe it or not, I'd only run across the accusation that Trump snorts the amphetamine Adderall a couple of times, and in no detail, in sources that mentioned there was a rumor without giving it any credence, because, after all, Roseanne's former husband Tom Arnold was a major source for that rumor, and he was no authority to launch a slander campaign.

But I remember remarking on Donald Trump's persistent sniffing myself, way back during the Republican presidential debates in 2015 and 2016, leading up to the primaries. I noted Trump's persistent, heavy, prolonged sniffs that were also very wet, like I am of a morning when my allegies are well deployed. People were saying on social media that those sniffles could be a result of snorting something.

Trevor Noah devoted a whole segment to Trump's slurred speech but hilariously chalked it up to #DentureDonald:

Who can forget a famous dry-mouth moment?

I don't know the symptoms for sniffing Adderall. Maybe Trump exhibits them. Or maybe he's got textbook ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), which is also a reoccurring rumor with coincidenally a stronger mountain of credible evidence backing it up.

San Francisco psychiatrist John Kruse reviewed the anecdotal rumors about Trump and ADHD:
Reports going back decades assert that doctors prescribed Mr. Trump phentermine. The FDA approved the stimulant medication phentermine for weight-control, but physicians also prescribe it off-label to treat ADHD. Phentermine prescriptions receive less government scrutiny than more tightly controlled stimulants like Ritalin or Adderall. During the presidential campaign two years ago, pundits extensively discussed Mr. Trump’s sniffing, grimacing and hyperactivity....
But Kruse takes us to a different set of Trump behaviors, with an entirely different presidential affect that gives Kruse hope that Trump is indeed on something like Adderall, and an even bigger hope he stays on it. Kruse, like any licensed therapist, has eyes to see what's obvious:
I examined video footage of the border wall Presidential Address [Jan. 8, 2019], comparing it to his other presidential performances. Mr. Trump’s pupils are substantially larger during the Address than during other speeches.... However, even more blatant than a change in the size of his pupils, during the Address he made many fewer head and body movements, many fewer hand gestures, twitched less, and uttered more organized sentences, in a calmer cadence, than he displays elsewhere. While some of this behavior may be in direct response to the structure of reading from a tele-prompter, we have certainly seen him go off track in other speeches, despite help from a tele-prompter. The combination of simultaneous physiologic, behavioral, and cognitive changes in the president’s behavior strongly suggest that during the Address he used stimulant medications in order to behave more coherently.
Kruse's bottomline: Adderall might be making Trump more coherent, not less:
Most people with ADHD have a myriad of thoughts ping-ponging around in their head at any instant. With a proper dose of stimulant medication they can focus on one item at a time and consider it at more depth and leisure. The frenetic behavior, the bouncing back and forth, the impulsivity, the self contradictions of ADHD are all a result of being unable to control attention, and when someone gains control of their attention, they can process their environment and their own thoughts in a more organized, calm manner.
Kruse's summary diagnosis of Trump knocked my compression socks clean off:
Stimulant medications help many adults with ADHD improve their focus on, and engagement with, their worlds. Those who seem most “over-stimulated” to begin with (but are actually under-stimulated) are often the patients who respond most powerfully to ADHD medications. It is not surprising that people have a hard time wrapping their head around medications that produce hyperactivity, rapid and disjointed speech and impulsive behavior in some people and alleviate it in others. Yet Mr. Trump, his immediate circle, and the whole country will benefit from effective treatment for his ADHD. Rather than riffing on his sniffing, maybe we should be supporting his snorting.
If any of this is mostly true, what in the world are we going to do? And what was the purpose of the 25th Amendment?


Anonymous said...

Most of his behavior is consistent with a personality disorder combined with cognitive decline...far more so than with a diagnosis of ADHD. And stimulants (such as Adderall) can improve some age-related cognitive function. Cocaine, of course, is another stimulant, and that particular substance is often related to an increased production of nasal secretions.

Mike said...

It's hard to think Trump is/was a cocaine user without that somehow slipping out from inside the Whitehouse over the years. He is well-known for being a health nut, not smoking or using alcohol and such behaviors in his social world in the 70s-'00s is quite an achievement. So, I think cocaine use, like with MJ, has not been his thing. But prescribed drugs such as Adderall, could well be. I suppose his inconsistent use of such drugs could explain his similar behavior, his towering rages, etc.

Nonetheless, it's clear he is not right for the job he has.

Red Hornet said...

Hitler, some of his inner circle and military were prescribed pervatin (meth), also factory workers.
Hitler also used oxycodone, morphine, frequent laxatives and bull testicle extract under prescription of Dr. Morell, his personal physician. A few times Hitler needed Morell to inject cocaine to regain functionality. By the time of suicide Hitler's veins were shot and he had become a berserk addict.

Trump also has used a celebrity doctor who injected patients with addictive drugs without informing them. Not that drug use was responsible for the Holocaust, but it was a help to the Nazis in the 1940 invasion of France. Allies gave amphetamines to pilots and others after pervatin was found in downed aircraft.

Trup's hair had returned to blond and his face to orange as he delivered a disjointed briefing Saturday April 18th. He seems not far from a breakdown.

Red Hornet said...

Thank you so much J.W. Williamson, distinguished scholar, for Watauga Watch. It is so vital and informational that I aspire to create a similar site of my own.
Continuing on the impending demise of President Donald Trump, my partner called me in to see his Saturday press briefing, which hardly addressed the Covid19 situation at all but was a repetitive rant mostly attacking news media and Democratic governors. You were saying recently how we should be thankful for level-headed Roy Cooper, and I am. Trump recently instigated and supported extreme right wing terrorism and harassment in several states, and that is an emergency signal to anyone who values democracy. I soon tired of the pimp rally, but it stirred my subconscious. I awoke in early hours Sunday morning when I recalled Dick Shawn's performance as Be-bop Hitler in Mel Brooks 1967 film "The Producers"(Springtime for Hitler). An issue in the plot is the author's upset at having his admiration of Nazism satirized. Another parallel is comparison of the flim-flam at the root of the plot to current activities on Wall Street and at the Federal Reserve. The schemers discover that a producer can make a lot more money with a flop than a hit by overselling shares in the production, because no one will audit the books of a play failed play. And that is exactly what occurs at the apex of the American economy. In a 2001 60 Minutes interview Mel Brooks said "I think you can bring down totalitarian governments faster by using ridicule than you can with invective." That may be true, but some material efforts may also be required. The audience remains passive at a show which does nothing for democracy. my screen name is Red Hornet