Faking Adult ADHD?By
A recent study recently reported that up to 22% of ADHD adults either fake or exaggerate their symptoms. This may be to get ADHD medication, or higher doses of ADHD medication. You can read more about this here.
In this ‘internet era’, it is very easy for people to spend 20 minutes on google, and know all about the symptoms that are used to diagnose ADHD. This is a risk.
At the same time, there are literally millions of adults with ADHD who can’t find a specialist or doctor who can help them with a proper and thorough diagnosis – to get the help that they really need.
Why do these ‘fakers’ want to get their hands on ADHD medications?
When ADHD medications are taken as prescribed, they are helpful and safe. When they are misused – either by being diverted, or misused, they can be quite problematic. When people misuse them – they may take their own prescriptions in a way that wasn’t prescribed – i.e. they may save us several days of their short acting medication and crush the pills and snort them. By doing this, they cause the medication to get to their brain much more quickly, and they can get a high. Or, they may take stimulant medications late at night to cram for university exams – and this can be medically dangerous. Diversion refers to the situation when people use their medications in other ways – i.e. they sell them, give them to their friends, or find other creative uses for them which are wrong. Diverting stimulant medication is actually illegal. All of this is medically dangerous.
What should happen?
It is very important that doctors do thorough assessments for adult ADHD. They need to gather information about the long term history of the disorder, (hopefully) get information from other sources – including family members, even old report cards – which help to corroborate the diagnosis, etc. If people get a proper diagnosis, then we can ‘cut down’ the fakers from misusing the prescription medications.
The other thing to do is for doctors to use the newer generation of long acting medications. These medications are much less abusable, and tend to have a lower street value because of that.
This is an important issue.
What has your experience been? Please share your thoughts below…