- Written by Sophia Seth & Emily Ford
- BBC South
One woman says a major shortage of ADHD drugs could lead to an increase in mental health problems.
Jess Chandler, from Bournemouth, gained a following on TikTok after sharing a video about being diagnosed with autism and ADHD in 2020.
The government blamed “global demand” and “manufacturing issues”.
Chandler, who started taking the medication in May, said it has made a “huge difference.”
She explained: “It meant I could be aware of my thoughts and realize that I had one thought of hers instead of 20 of hers at a time.
“I really struggle with something called interoception, so I’m really, really bad at understanding when I’m hungry, when I need a drink, when I need to go to the bathroom, I felt like I really improved.”
Chandler said he hasn’t been able to get medication for two months and has been contacted by thousands of followers online with similar problems.
Her mother, Terry, said it was “absolutely heartbreaking” to see her daughter suffer.
“…I don’t want to see her go down that hill again,” she added.
Charity ADHD UK has confirmed that an estimated 150,000 people are affected by the current shortage.
Mitesh Patel runs 14 pharmacies across Hampshire and Dorset.
He said GPs and pharmacies were working together to help each other, but both needed to “think outside the box”.
“We see so many people struggling on a daily basis. We are definitely rationing, but if we have stock, we will provide it to our patients,” Patel said. .
“Currently, there is a large amount of unlicensed prescribing because doctors have no choice. They make exceptions or use two types of drugs to provide the necessary strength. ”
Dr Tim Cooper, deputy chief medical officer at Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, urged patients not to panic.
He said: “It’s really important that people get in touch with the practice team in the normal way and that there’s plenty of time for their prescriptions to end and that we’re available to support them in getting those prescriptions sorted and organized. We can give them as much time as possible.”
In a statement, the Department of Health and Social Care said: “We continue to work closely with the manufacturers to resolve the issue as quickly as possible and ensure patients continue to have access to ADHD medicines in the UK.”
However, Chandler, who is concerned about the impact on people’s mental health, said: “Drugs to treat ADHD save lives, but without a cure, high rates of mental health problems will occur and big problems will arise.” I guess so,” he said.