After watching that bizarre documentary Wild Wild Country on Netflix, I was thirsty for more crazy PR nightmares. Usually I bounce back to one of my various Netflix series, but I was craving for something more educational this past weekend. I searched around for any more interesting documentaries about cannabis only to stumbled upon some popular title about pills. It was time to learn about America’s Adderall addiction in Netflix’s Take Your Pills.
Take Your Pills hit the Netflix shelves on March 9th 2018. The series looked at how people are seeking a performance edge through Adderall, Ritalin, as well as other prescription stimulants. From professional athletes to college students, many people are taking stimulants like Adderall for that extra boost in their work. In the hypercompetitive nation of America, people from all walks of life look to prescribed stimulants in order to gain the upper hand.
College students were a major focus for the film. Rather than consume psychedelic substances like cannabis or LSD, young adults are ‘tuning in’ to substances like Ritalin and Adderall. Students are taking in that one Adderall before working on their final term paper, art project, video, or even studying for their final exams. Its great that they are working hard for their grades and all that, but it also sparks a dangerous message about our nation’s working environment.
Recreational use of Adderall or Ritalin isn’t just something people partake in during their time in college – young professionals working in highly competitive job fields are also takings stimulants as well. These young professionals use stimulants to gain a boost in their careers (the documentary featured examples such as software programming and even finances). There’s a joke from Silicon Valley where Richard Hendricks tries to score Adderall from kids after finding out that half of the kids use it in Palo Alto. As funny as the joke is, it definitely rings true to reality in Silicon Valley.
At the end of the day, the question becomes what kind of society have we created where Americans everywhere are increasingly using stimulants like Adderall to get ahead? When we did start accepting the idea of giving children medicine just so that they can pay attention in class? How exactly did this nation become so hypercompetitive where aspiring professionals are using (even abusing!) stimulants to get ahead?
People back in the 1960s would have never imagined giving their children pills ever in their life; we now live in a world where not only is it the new norm in society, but now find it crucial to have children taking stimulants just to do good in school. What exactly is that ultimate reward they reach in the end? More money? Fame? A higher position in the company?
Imagine what kind of effect this has in the communications industry, especially in the high-stakes career of public relations. Is this where PR professionals are heading towards? Taking Adderall or Ritalin daily just to get through thousands of emails for the week? What’s most disturbing is that its probably happening in agencies right now.
We need to step back for a moment and think about what kind of society we are creating. There has been so much advancement in technology over the past decades that Americans are finding it harder and harder to keep up. This competition is being mirrored all the way back to elementary education where parents are fighting to get their children into the best preschools possible.
If you want to learn more about this disturbing rise of stimulants, then definitely check out Take Your Pills on Netflix. It’s the kind of documentary that makes you wonder – what would you take to be the best?