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“A Daily Nightmare:” One Year into the ADHD Stimulant Shortage

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September 26, 2023Thirteen months have passed since ADDitude first forecast a disruptive American shortage of the ADHD medication Adderall, and today more than one-fifth of ADDitude readers continue to experience problems accessing their stimulant prescriptions.

According to an ADDitude survey of 10,936 caregivers and adults with ADHD, roughly 38% of all patients have had trouble finding and filling their prescription medication over the last year and 21% continue to suffer treatment disruptions today.“I was on Adderall XR for 15 years, but discontinued it this spring due to the shortage,” wrote a survey respondent, one of many who has switched or stopped taking medication over the last year.“I’m struggling to get Adderall XR and I am forced to take regular Adderall, which I dislike,” wrote another survey respondent. “The shortage is affecting me horribly.”One year of medication shortfalls finds patients, parents, and doctors across the country devoting huge resources of time and money each month to repeat-dialing dozens of pharmacies in the hopes of securing scarce supply, and driving 30, 40, sometimes 50 miles to get it.

As the school year kicks into high gear, children and adults tell ADDitude they have been forced to forgo medications, make do with substitutes that aren’t as effective or cause bothersome side effects, and ration out a dwindling supply, oftentimes dividing it between multiple family members with ADHD.

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