Speed and Xanax Were Reportedly Rampant in Trump's White House

The White House Medical Unit was reportedly handing out certain drugs like candy.

Donald Trump at the White House
Al Drago/Stringer via Getty Images
Donald Trump at the White House

According to a new report from Rolling Stone, the White House was "awash in speed" and Xanax during the Donald Trump administration.

Four former senior administration officials and others who worked at the White House during Trump's four-year tenure as POTUS said that staffers were often given speed for things as minor as an energy boost during a particularly long shift. The drug was allegedly handed out when staffers worked late on Trump's speeches, during the lengthy response to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe, and various other times of intense workload.

"It was kind of like the Wild West. Things were pretty loose. Whatever someone needs, we were going to fill this," said one source. Modafinil, which also goes by the brand name Provigil, was among the most distributed drugs by the White House Medical Unit, but Xanax was also spread around a lot, according to three sources. Two people added that even senior officials were getting the anti-anxiety medication prescribed and would share it with others.

Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham described the working conditions for White House staffers as "grueling" at times, especially when overseas trips were involved. Trump's physician Dr. Ronny Jackson would apparently "come around Air Force One asking Donald Trump’s senior staff if they needed anything." Drugs he would offer included Provigil and Ambien. "When this happened on Air Force One, a nurse would be trailing him, writing down who got what," Grisham added.

A report from the Department of Defense Inspector General, released in January, revealed that "all phases of the White House Medical Unit’s pharmacy operations had severe and systemic problems due to the unit’s reliance on ineffective internal controls to ensure compliance with pharmacy safety standards." That report, however, did not mention the use of Xanax and speed among staffers.

The staffers in the new RS article and the Inspector General's report alleged that the White House would hand out such pills without a diagnosis. An insider said that one of Melania Trump's aides came to the Medical Unit and specifically asked for Xanax by name. "She just came in and demanded it," they said. When she wasn't prescribed the drug, she "stormed out."

Many sources specifically blamed Dr. Ronny Jackson for the "Wild West" drug culture at the Medical Unit. In 2021, a report found that Jackson engaged in wrongful workplace conduct while traveling with the former president in March 2016. As many as 56 subordinates were on the receiving end of, or saw his behavior which included one instance where he was "intoxicated" and "pounding on [a female subordinate’s] hotel room door, screaming, yelling."

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