On the 27th of September, the UK government issued an alert over a shortage of ADHD medication in the U.K. The USA is also facing a similar situation, and though the shortage is due to be over by December it’s understandably a situation which have millions of ADHDers and parents of ADHDers up in arms.
It’s difficult for those people who don’t have ADHD or don’t love someone with ADHD, to understand just how much of an impact this will have. Even myself, who has ADHD but makes a person choice not to be medicated can’t fully comprehend the worry and stress this may cause. However, I do have many friends who are parents of ADHDers and know others with ADHD who say that the potential behaviour that know will present itself if they can’t get hold of the correct medication.
When you’re around children or adults with ADHD who are regularly medicated it becomes very easy to spot when they’ve forgotten to take the medication or it starts wearing off. Indeed, I remember doing my independent case study, in my final year of university, on a child with ADHD. Sometimes that kid would forget to take his medication at lunch time (he was on four-hour release) and for the first half an hour of the afternoon he may as well not have been in the classroom. He would mess with his shoes, distract those around him, shout out and not take in a single word the teacher was saying. Yet half an hour to the dot after he’d taken his medication he’d sit up, stop the distracting behaviour, and start to learn.
Now it’s not my job to tell anybody whether children or adults with ADHD should be medicated or not. What I am saying is that without it some children or adults may not be able to be educated, may put themselves in danger and certainly as a result their mental health will take a nose dive. It’s hard not being able to regulate yourself, so when you find something that supports you to do it becomes a lifeline to live a relatively normal life and all the benefits that comes with that.
So what’s causing these shortages? Well as far as I can tell the problem is being attributed to two things; an increase in global demand and manufacturing issues, which frankly doesn’t make much sense to me.
Global demand means ADHD is on the increase, but the reason ADHD is on the rise is because it was only really recognised as a genuine medical condition globally from about 1990 and a lot of individual countries such as the U.K. didn’t recognise it till around 2000. Combine that with the fact we’re still working towards cultural acceptance, and you can understand why people are suddenly realising why they have struggled so much all their life or now have a reason for their child’s behaviour.
Manufacturing issues for me translates to one of two things; funding and politics which are two are the most passion inciting things in the world. No companies tend to be as greedy than pharmaceutical ones because they all know if they are the only one who can provide a certain type of medicine then people will be forced to pay absolutely any number they ask for. Of course politics in each country enforce the laws of how much of the medication can be produced, in what way and even where it can be sold. Let’s forget the import sales tax while we’re at it.
Unfortunately, there is no quick fix answer to this one ADHDers and allies. Rest assured we’ll be keeping you updated on this important Let’s hope it’s resolved very soon as let’s be honest when you have ADHD or love someone with ADHD, there is already enough stress without adding more. Till next time!