Jailed FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried will likely have to survive without access to Adderall while behind bars at the infamous Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, according to federal prison guidelines.
As The Post reported earlier this week, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers whined at a hearing that he hasn’t been given his prescribed Adderall to treat his ADHD in the 11 days since he was tossed in jail to await trial in October.
However, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which oversees the Metropolitan Detention Center, generally does not allow Adderall and other stimulants to be supplied to inmates. The policy was detailed in a “clinical guidance” document on ADHD treatment issued by the feds in December 2021.
“Psychostimulants should not commonly be prescribed first-line for treating patients within the correctional setting due to risk of misuse and diversion,” the document says.
The guidance adds that “non-stimulant pharmacologic options have established efficacy and are used as first-line treatment for adult ADHD in BOP facilities.”
Bloomberg was the first to report on the document.
Bankman-Fried’s legal team argued that their client was unable to adequately prepare for his trial without access to his prescribed ADHD medication.
Defense attorney Mark Cohen complained that Bankman-Fried has not had access to vegan meals and was “literally now subsisting on bread and water and sometimes peanut butter” inside the facility.
“[Trial is] coming up in six weeks in one of the most complex cases in this courthouse,” Cohen added. “He’s being denied medication to focus.”
Bankman-Fried was not getting his Adderall doses despite an earlier order from federal Judge Lewis Kaplan that he receive “uninterrupted access to his daily prescribed medications” while housed at the Metropolitan Detention Center.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons declined to comment specifically on Bankman-Fried’s case, citing “privacy, safety and security reasons.”
However, the BOP said that its guidelines would not necessarily prevent Bankman-Fried from obtaining Adderall if it is prescribed by a doctor.
“Generally, we can tell you all incarcerated individuals at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) Brooklyn have access to appropriate healthcare and medicine, including Adderall when clinically indicated,” a spokesperson told The Post. “While stimulants are not the preferred first-line agent, they may be approved following an evaluation and brief procurement process.”
“The FBOP uses licensed and credentialed healthcare providers in its ambulatory care units, which community consultants and specialists support,” the spokesperson added. “Each individual is independently treated on a case-by-case basis, and treatment is provided as clinically indicated, including referrals to specialists.”
Bankman-Fried has been outspoken in the past about his use of Adderall and other brain-boosting drugs.
In one podcast interview from October 2020, Bankman-Fried said such drugs could be “life-changing.”
“In general, probably half of all people or more should be taking meds of some kind, because they just make your life a lot better,” Bankman-Fried said at the time.
Kaplan revoked Bankman-Fried’s bail and ordered him to report to jail earlier this month for allegedly leaking the personal writings of his former business associate and ex-girlfriend, Caroline Ellison, to a New York Times reporter.
Bankman-Fried is locked up at the same facility that once housed Jeffrey Epstein associate and convicted sex offender Ghislaine Maxwell – whose legal team had decried “reprehensible” conditions at the jail.
The federal lockup has become notorious in recent years for a host of issues, including severe staffing shortages and dismal conditions such as maggot-infested food, filthy cells, and power outages.
Ellison, who has pleaded guilty to fraud charges, formerly served as CEO of Alameda Research, Bankman-Fried’s doomed cryptocurrency hedge fund. Bankman-Fried allegedly used FTX customer funds in part to cover losses at Alameda.
Ellison is expected to be a key witness at Bankman-Fried’s trial. Bankman-Fried has denied wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty to various charges.
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