New Obstacles for Adderall Patients to Crack Down on Illegal Use

Posted at 6:39 PM, Dec 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-02 22:37:00-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Doctors’ offices across West Michigan are tightening their policies on Adderall.

For many patients they’ll likely be asked to sign a contract before that prescription is ever written, if they aren’t already.

FOX 17 got ahold of a contract from one West Michigan doctor that not only lists out the effects of the drug, but also has patients sign an agreement that they will follow the doctor’s treatment plan, which could include physical therapy, counseling and frequent trips to their office.

“We may have you bring the prescription in and do pill counts, we may want to do point of care drug testing to prove that the pill is in you and the metabolites are in you, so that we know you’re taking the medication,” Dr. Eric Houchin of Bronson Hospital said.

According to Houchin, Adderall, a schedule II control substance often used to treat attention deficit disorder,  is something the medical community has been trying to regulate for years.

Adderall use has more than tripled since the ’90s. In fact, 66 percent of students are offered stimulants like Adderall, by their senior year to help them with their school work, according to a student in the Journal of American College Health.

“Twenty to 25 percent of all prescriptions are used differently that prescribed,” Dr. Houchin said. “Either given to a friend, sold, used differently, taken other than orally, maybe snorted and injected. So, there’s things that happen with these meds that concern us.”

We spoke with a Kent County woman with ADD who doesn’t want to be identified. She was diagnosed at the age of 30.  Struggling to remember daily tasks and to keep organized, her doctor wrote her a prescription and required her to come into the office for a check-up once a year to receive the Adderall.

“He basically just asks me if I think the medication is working, if it’s doing what I think it should be doing and I say ‘yes’ and that’s it.”

But at her last check-up, she noticed a change in protocol.

“I had to fill out a form and it basically had a bunch of statements that I had to agree to. That I wouldn’t sell it, that I wouldn’t give it to anybody and that even if I ran out early I wouldn’t even ask to get the prescription filled earlier than I was supposed to.”

Although patients might not see these policies at their doctor’s office right away, regulating prescription drugs like Adderall, is an ongoing process.

“Certain providers will implement more policies than others…we’re trying to get more unification on that end,”  Dr. Houchin said. “When you look in America at how many deaths occur from inappropriate prescribing, inappropriate use, inappropriate diversion, it is huge. We want safety. We’re not out to get anyone. We need to partner better than ever before in medicine.”