It’s fall and the calls have picked up from students returning back to college. Many of the calls are from frantic voices indicating that they are from other parts of the country who have move here and are having great difficulties finding a prescriber to take over their ADHD medication management. Some indicate that they’ve contacted over twenty doctors, psychiatrists and other prescribers and were told that they do not work with ADHD or that they do not dispense certain kinds of ADHD medications. The students are also told by some schools that they must undergo rigorous mental health testing that in some cases is not covered by their insurance plans and costs hundreds/thousands of dollars.
The students are wondering why is this necessary especially if they have a history of previous ADHD diagnosis and previous successful medication management? Why do many doctors refuse to treat ADHD or refuse to dispense certain kinds of ADHD medications? The answers are not simplistic, rather they are multi leveled. One possible reason is that hardly a week goes by when there isn’t some article that claims ADHD is not a real diagnosis or can be explained by some other explanation. The most recent one I read indicated that ADHD is really a need for someone to have challenging change of scenery and when a person isn’t challenged they can become bored and easily distracted. While there is some validity to many ADHD folks being easily distracted and finding some repetitive tasks boring, it may be wishful thinking to proffer that all one has to do is change the scenery and the ADHD disappears.
Another problem to this ADHD medication issue in Portland Oregon is that there are far too few specialists here and in the country that have extensive knowledge about ADHD. I’ve been rather fortunate to have worked with thousands of ADHD clients and understand how beneficial it can be to find someone who both understands ADHD and doesn’t demonize those who are simply wanting to be treated with dignity and respect. The reality is that there are a few “bad apples” who seek ADHD medications for illicit means usually to divert it to others or use it on occasions to enhance performance. This is the rare exception and prescribers need to be especially diligent to weed these individuals out but at the same time, not punish those who legitimately have ADHD issues. This could also be said of those with legitimate pain or anxiety issues as well.
The challenge in all of this is to find an ADHD medication specialist in Portland who you feel you can work with. Please feel free to contact me at (503) 492-2200 to discuss your situation.
As always, I welcome your notes, feedback and suggestions for future topics.