Channing Tatum decries meds: “I understand why kids kill themselves”

The "White House Down" star tells Vanity Fair that he would never put his child on learning disability medication

Topics: Channing Tatum, Adderall, Vanity Fair,

Channing Tatum is promoting his new action thriller, “White House Down,” about a coup at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. How to differentiate the film from this year’s similarly themed “Olympus Has Fallen”? Why not give an interview about why learning disability medication is like crystal meth?

Tatum describes his experience with meds in Vanity Fair. He tells the magazine:

I truly believe some people need medication. I did not. I did better at school when I was on it, but it made me a zombie. You become obsessive. Dexedrine, Adderall. It’s like any other drug. It’s like coke, or crystal meth. The more you do, the less it works. For a time, it would work well. Then it worked less and my pain was more. I would go through wild bouts of depression, horrible comedowns. I understand why kids kill themselves. I absolutely do. You feel terrible. You feel soul-less. I’d never do it to my child.

It’s a timely decision: Tatum’s wife, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, just gave birth to the couple’s first child.



The path of criticizing medication while on publicity tour is familiar: In 2005, while promoting “War of the Worlds,” Tom Cruise criticized Brooke Shields for using antidepressants, telling “Today” host Matt Lauer: “ I know psychiatry is a pseudoscience [...] Drugs are not the answer.” Cruise, famously, claims to have overcome dyslexia through Scientology; Tatum tells Vanity Fair that he, too, has reading difficulty.

I read so slow. If I have a script I’m going to read it five times slower than any other actor, but I’ll be able to tell you everything in it. It kills me that there are standardized tests geared towards just one kind of child.

Daniel D'Addario is a staff reporter for Salon's entertainment section. Follow him on Twitter @DPD_

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