I am receiving more calls from distraught folks complaining about the difficulty in finding a provider here in Portland OR. to assess and or treat their suspected or already diagnosed ADHD or ADD. The callers report contacting many practitioners and are told “sorry we don’t prescribe ADHD medication” and told to go elsewhere.
One reason for this difficulty might lie in the callers age 18-35 where there are some “bad apples” that are seeking ADHD medication for illegal purposes (selling, trading, bartering, etc). Stimulant medication, like benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety medication), and pain mediction (opiates) are three of the most sought after prescription medication sometimes because they have “street value”. This leads many providers to avoid the prescribing of these classes of medication for any long term time period. Unfortunately, stimulants have been shown to be most effective when seeking a medication option to treat ADHD symptoms, hence the angst patients are feeling when they can not find a local Portland provider to assess and treat them.
This problem is especially difficult for new arrivals to Portland from other cities and states that have already been diagnosed and are successfully treated with ADHD medication and can not find a new provider here in Portland (OR.) Oregon to take over their medication management.
The only solution to this problem is a combination of patience, assertiveness in making calls, and a willingness to find a true ADHD specialist who understands ADHD and treats each person as a unique individual. Additionally we need to be more proactive in raising the awareness of what ADHD is and debunk those who feel that ADHD/ADD is either non existent or over diagnosed.
Once again, thank you to all those who call, write and e-mail. I welcome all your questions, thoughts, recommendations and positive feedback.