ADHD: Prescription Drug Abuse Devastates a Long Island Families Future
By Adam Holden
Nassau News
Staff Writer

A two-minute exploration into the use of Adderall, an ADHD medication, and how the medications addictive nature affected the life of one Brian Helfstein, a former Hofstra University student.

Adam Holden                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nassau News Staff Writer

Great Neck, NY- Adderall XR is a prescription medication used to help those people affected by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The medication is classified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a Class II substance, which puts the medication on a list adjacent to Cocaine. Why you may ask? Adderall creates extreme dependence and side-effects in those not affected by ADHD you would only wish on your worst enemy.

In an e-mail discussion with Dr. Kirk Martin, he explains ADHD as a reduced blood flow to necessary parts of the bran that aids in focus and alertness.  Basically meaning the brain is under-stimulated and under-performing. 

Brian Helfstein, now 23, was a former Hofstra Student who was mis-diagnosed with ADHD. He received his prescriptions monthly, bust as his parents told Nassau News, he became overly dependent on the medication and allowed it to take control of his life.

Helfstein, found himself using the medication more and more for recreational purposes as opposed to its intended medical function for focus and study.  The Adderall, an amphetamine a.k.a. as ‘speed’, not only helps people focus but creates what Brian’s parents described as a ‘mental-utopia’ providing Brian with the extreme happiness he craved. Brian found himself gambling and spending money hand over fist allowing his thrill to take over the area of his brain that controlled logic and reason.  This loss of control lead to a debt in the amount of $30,000, a permanent withdrawl from Hofstra University, and a trip to a rehabilitation facility located in South Florida.  His parents, afraid their son would need to declare bancruptcy, halted renovations to their house in Great Neck, New York to get Brian back on the right track.  Now, as Brian recovers looking towards a drug and debt-free future, his parents, stuck with a half-constructed house and excessive debt look at their past and wonder where they went wrong.


For a complete transcript and source list associated with the above-story and segment, please visit:

Segment Transcript and Source List:

Adderall_Brian Helfstein_Segment Transcript

April 13, 2008


Adam Holden: Adolescents over the years have traded everything from baseball cards, toys games, advice or even germs, however in 2002, Nassau County College students are trading something more valuable, Adderall, Dexedrin, and Ritalin. All prescribed for Attention Deficit Hyper-Activity Disorder, ADHD.


Dr. Kirk Martin: So what’s really happening in your kids brains is they have reduced blood flow to certain parts of their brains. And what results is that their brains are under stimulated.


Adam Holden (VO) However with all the work and long hours of paper writing on college campuses students have been selling and buying Adderall at an alarming rate as reported by a February New York Times expose.


Adam Holden: Concerned, you should be, that’s why I’m here on a quiet long island suburb, after hearing a frightening story about the rise and fall of a Sophomore Hofstra Student, Brian Helfstein.


Shona Helfstein: He had gone to a doctor and had been able to obtain a prescription for Adderall and he tended to rely on the drugs more then he should; and when he hit struggles in his life, whatever they were, the drug became a crutch.


Mark Helfstein: What transpired from all of this was Gambling, found out later he started to go into debt, uh, I assume the gambling he could care less if he was losing money or not, he was just having a good time.


Shona Helfstein (VO):And it was debt that exceeded thirty thousand dollars.


Emily Bosco: You know he got into the whole Adderall thing not to long after we were together, really heavily into it. And now he’s in Florida and I haven’t heard from him.


Adam Holden: So while Brian is reconstructing his plausible future down in Florida with his grandparents. His parents are left here, out of money, and in debt themselves. This is just one example for all your college age students out there that pills can only fix so much. This is Adam Holden reporting, Goodnight.



Source List:

Dr. Kirk Martin-

Shona Helfstein-

Mark Helfstein-

Emily Bosco-