The Adderall Empire cover

Andrew K. Smith ’14

Booktrope: 2015

Smith’s memoir, The Adderall Empire, gives you a look into his life and struggle with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Diagnosed in late high school, Smith was prescribed Adderall and was catapulted into what he calls the “Adderall Empire.” This empire is a world in which Smith believes people lose their creative minds to the drug.

“Being inside the Adderall Empire is like being in a lighthouse across the water: I can see my house, and all my friends and family can see me there, but when they see me they don’t really notice me, like when I get a haircut,” writes Smith.

With three narrative arcs, this book documents Smith’s life before Adderall, his time inside the “Adderall Empire,” and his experiences with Cogmed (an alternate method of treating ADHD). Throughout the book, Smith provides complete transparency to his readers, even to the extent of including his own medical records, to give an even deeper look into his struggle.

The brutally honest way in which Smith depicts his own struggles makes this book a page-turner, and it will leave you questioning the “Adderall Empire” as a way to treat ADHD.