Increase in Adderall prescriptions makes medication hard to find for parents

Published: August 12, 2022 5:34 PM EDT

Just as the new school year is getting underway, there is a scramble to find some of the most common ADHD medications.

Pharmacies in Southwest Florida are having a tough time meeting the demand and it’s putting another layer of stress on parents.

Mom Donna Donassaint is prepping for success, heavily invested in the education of her four sons.

Two of her boys have ADHD, which in the past led to problems at school.

“Being defiant, being hyperactive, not being focused, not being attentive, fidgety,” Donassaint said.

Her sons went on ADHD medications, including Adderall. Donassaint felt good about it because it worked.

“So me as a parent having to see my child struggle in school, to now being able to focus, make good grades, make new friends, and seeing them happy, it makes me feel good,” Donassaint said.

Nurse practitioner Reese Vancamp prescribes the meds for Donassaint’s sons. Right now, the drugs are difficult, if not impossible, to find.

“I’ve been getting a lot of calls from patients or parents that the medication’s not available and that the pharmacy is just telling them it’s on backorder and there’s no idea of when they’re going to get it in,” Vancamp said.

Parents across the country are experiencing similar issues and posting about it online.

The Federal Drug Administration doesn’t have Adderall or its generics on its list of drug shortages but shoppers say otherwise.

“We literally have to drive around Lee County to each pharmacy to see if they have that medication,” Donassaint said.

It comes down t supply versus demand.

Prescriptions more than doubled in the last decade, up to $41 million.

Now, more prescriptions are made online through telehealth.

Until the situation resolves, Vancamp suggests using positive reinforcement.

“Because these are ADHD kids, so they need to have kind of that immediate gratification,” Vancamp said.

Two major pharmacies, CVS and Walmart, have blocked or delayed filling online prescriptions from some telehealth startups, which are responsible for a huge surge in new users.