November 26, 2018 at 7:35 pm #104420
Today I walked into my doctors office like I have been doing every 3 months for the past 10 years to get my adderall prescription. After the typical questions were asked. I was presented with a paper in which I needed to sign in order to get my prescription refilled. I was in shock. This was a release form allowing them to random drug test me so I can continue to get my script. This was the one place where I had always felt that I wasn’t being judged or questioned. Where I was understood and that what I have is real. Not anymore. I didn’t ask to have ADHD -I need my medication to function. I felt like I was in trouble. I felt ashamed. I started panicking. It was just a holiday weekend, I didn’t take my adderall for a few days. I like to be educated on everything I put into my body. Even though I function at my best when I take my medication, I also know the amount of stress it can have on my body. So during the work week I take it religiously on the weekends I sometimes choose not to take it. This doesn’t mean that I am abusing it or that I am selling it. It just means I didn’t take it. Sometimes I even forget to take it. Uhm hello I have ADHD I am very forgetful. I also work in a kitchen and drink like 7 -12 oz bottles of water a day. Also My blood pressure and pulse was high, they began to question me(my husband just called while I was walking into my appointment telling me he was in a car wreck) Now I look and feel like I am guilty for something I didn’t even do. Even though there would be no reason to fail except not having enough adderall in my system. I thought I wasn’t even going to pass my “adderall drug test”. I shouldn’t have to feel this way. I guess it went well because they give me my scoript and I left. But will I have to go through this shame again in 3 months.
I fight this stigma of having ADHD everyday, with my friends, my family, my coworkers, strangers and now my doctor.
I left feeling anxious (good thing I got that prescription refilled too), ashamed, and frustrated, I’m glad I didn’t start taking my CBD oil that I purchased. I would love to have an alternative to my adderall that is healthier and not as hard on my body that allows me to fully function as a ‘normal’ adult. And isn’t adderall. But until then I guess this is the new normal. And I am not happy about it.
Has this always been a thing -Drs drug testing for people who take Adderall and I have been fortunate until now to have to go through this?? I understand for other pills but this is for a disability….
November 27, 2018 at 9:55 am #104460
My first guess would be that this new testing is part of the entire health care system being in the midst of major changes. So that might help to alleviate your anxiety and fears. I suspect that it had nothing to do with you individually. My guess would be that next time you go in, you will need to do the same thing. Or maybe they are now required to do testing once a year or biannually or something. Our country is seeing a major crisis with prescription opiates being abused which then leads some to begin heroin when they can no longer get the prescription. On the other end, our country also has a meth issue and unfortunately, some of those people will try to get prescribed stimulants. And because of that, laws are being changed daily that are beginning to strictly regulate new protocols on how doctors have to follow half a dozen requirements now before they can even write a prescription. It leaves every patient feeling like a drug seeker. I even felt like one the last time I needed a prescription for an antibiotic! Antibiotics are now all over the news the last decade as the cause of super bugs so now you have to pull teeth and do testing just to get an antibiotic that you need. When before, you just simply called up your doctors nurse and she phoned in the prescription. So, I suspect that everyone that goes to your same doctor/clinic is now facing the same thing that you just had to go through.
February 12, 2019 at 4:53 pm #109151
I’ve had something similiar in my past too, it feels terrible. When I first graduated high school I went and got medicated (my mother didnt believe in medicating children so I’d never taken anything), and I remember being very hurt when my doctor acted suspicious and like I was an addict simply because I’d googled different ADD medications to find a good fit before hand. She thought I knew too much, I supose.
This same doctor also kept insunuating I was annorexic because the ritalin was decreasing my appetite and I was losing one or two punds a month (I was overweight btw, not thin at all). She used to threaten cutting me off from my meds unless I agreed to come in once a month to get weighed. Mind you I was an uninsured 18 year old who had to pay $200 out of pocket every month just to get my prescription.
Some doctors are really just…insensitive. They see the medication and forget to see the person behind it sometimes.
February 18, 2019 at 1:15 pm #109495
I have to do the exact same routine. At 58. It emotionally tossed me back to when I was in legal trouble and had to give urine samples at someone’s constant indiscretion. It’s horrible to your self esteem and confidence. I put on the Scarlett letter now and play the part.
February 19, 2019 at 9:34 am #109385
Unfortunately, bedside manner aside, your doctor probably isn’t the problem, doctors like this one are… http://articles.latimes.com/2010/apr/14/local/la-me-doctor-arrest14-2010apr14
I knew at least one of his patients.
If stimulant medication was only given to those with a legitimate need and used as directed, we wouldn’t have any of the discussion threads about medication shortages.
It was mathematically impossible for the doctor arrested to have seen all of the “patients” he prescribed for… it is sad that he went as long as he did before getting arrested. Unfortunately, the majority of the practices enacted to try to prevent abuse do more to make life miserable to those with a legit need.
February 19, 2019 at 9:34 am #109387
To quote the above article…. “Kuemmerle was the No. 1 prescriber of the most powerful dosage of Adderall in California last year, federal authorities said. He was the second-largest prescriber of an entire class of federally regulated drugs, including the painkillers oxycodone and hydrocodone.”
Unfortunately, someone, somewhere made a policy in response to a real obvious outlier.
June 30, 2019 at 12:31 pm #121452
I’ve been taking Adderall for years due to having MS: It greatly helps me with lethargy, depression, & general day-to-day functioning. Now I have to take a urine drug-test once a year, so nobody should feel singled out in this case. I live in NY, & I have to go pick-up a paper script from my Dr. MONTHLY, which is a pain in the butt. Also, NY state will not allow prescriptions for controlled substances to be filled through mail-order pharmacies which is much cheaper than brick & mortar pharmacies. I understand it’s worse for controlled substances for pain (such as Vicodin) as people can only get a SEVEN DAY SUPPLY AT ONE TIME. So just be happy you don’t live here in NY state!
- This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Tauni.
June 30, 2019 at 1:57 pm #121460
This is crazy! I’ve never heard of a Dr. being allowed to drug test patients. What state does everyone live in, just curious?
July 1, 2019 at 1:26 pm #121589
As PC2300 said, this is a new initiative by not only the states but also the federal government in their quest to curb the opioid crisis. Unfortunately all of us other poor souls are caught up in it too. My Dr. doesn’t like it one bit either, BUT doctors can end-up being sanctioned or worse yet getting their medical licenses suspended if they don’t comply.
Skypark, as I’ve said I’m in NY but am also curious about other states though I suspect this is country-wide.
July 25, 2019 at 5:10 pm #123166
I’ve been going to the same practice for ten years, and today I was given a form saying I had to consent to random drug testing to continue to receive my ADHD medication. I wasn’t targeted specifically. Apparently, it’s a new policy. After signing it, I sat in my car in the parking lot for a while, disillusioned. Not because I’d fail a test (I’m an unadventurous 40 year old dad with nothing to hide) but because a bit of my dignity was just stripped away. And I just can’t shake it off. Being drug monitored is humiliating. It’s inherently based on mistrust. It causes unnecessary anxiety. What if I didn’t take my meds that day? What if the test results get screwed up? My gut reaction is to stop the meds altogether and walk away. My wife is trying to talk me out of it.
For her part, she has a point. The medication gave me the support I needed to get my life on track. I went from someone who had trouble finding work to a small business owner & employer with a family and a relatively full life. She thinks I should just accept it, but I feel like I jump through enough policy hoops for treatment. Living like I’m on some kind of criminal probation seems like a step too far.
I feel like I can’t even talk reasonably about it with my doctor either. Questioning the practice of drug monitoring? Drug seeker! Looking for a different doctor who doesn’t require testing? Drug seeker! This is madness. I feel stigmatized by my own doctor for having a condition I was reluctant to seek treatment for in the first place. Doctors, do you even care that this is becoming the norm? Is anybody in the community speaking up for their patients?
July 26, 2019 at 11:19 am #123203
Unfortunately, the liability for doctors to prescribe ADHD medications has become a much bigger problem with all the abuse of medications like Adderall. Many feel the need to test their patients to make sure they’re not selling their medications. I suspect malpractice insurance is starting to require this of the doctors they insure.
Think about the fact that your doctor has not singled you out, they’re testing every patient taking schedule II medications they prescribe. This isn’t a reflection on you, just the reality of these medications right now.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
July 26, 2019 at 3:34 pm #123254
Welcome to the Club. Put the Scarlett letter on and where it with pride. I’m 58 and having been in trouble with the Law and having to give urine tests daily than whenever and wherever they felt like busting your chops. The humiliation came flooding back. However the option of not getting my meds for me was not an option. Its been 15 yrs. Since my last arrest. 15yrs. Since I started my med’s. The Law has zero emotions tolerance or education to actually help your psychiatric disorder. By sheer chance I was at wit’s end and ran into a Dr. That got me the med’s I needed. Otherwise I would have gone back to self medicating to stop my brain from winning the battle and would have been in jail. Decade’s of my life wasted having your and Alcoholic and Drug addict shoved down my throat. Painful. Once I was treated correctly. I stopped almost instantly. The need to abuse myself to stop my mind was turned off like a switch. But the stigma will always be there. So jump through the hoop’s and say thank you please may I have another. But I feel your frustration humiliation and emotional pain. And drug tests come back false positive all the time. I learned this horrible truth as my probation got extended. So along with the other probis. We learned how to beat them. Mental Disorders are a life long daily struggle. God Speed my brother
July 28, 2019 at 11:48 am #123303
Folks you are not, repeat not, being accused of anything nefarious, it’s the whole opioid crisis gone ape! it’s a huge invasion of everyone’s privacy. I had to do it when I started ritalin and I worry only about how much that drug screen cost. I haven’t seen the bill yet. That will have a lot to do how salty I get about it.
Admittedly I wasn’t thrilled about sharing my ADD journey with my employer but because of my job duties I handle ritalin for students so I had to fess up to protect myself in case of a discrepancy.
I don’t like it when doctors get suspicious because patients may have done some research. I wind up telling everyone I contact in health care, “I am an RN, I don’t know everything, but I will insist on being treated like a professional.”
Also remember our providors are being run ragged and having to struggle with the computers and more rules and foolish expectations than we can imagine!
August 7, 2019 at 6:54 pm #124660
Gosh … I am so thankful to have found this thread. My ADD diagnosis goes back almost 25 years and is well documented by both neuropsychologist and neuropsychiatrist at a highly regarded institution. After several years of success with Vyvanse, I was forced to switch to Adderall about 5 years ago when Vyvanse was removed from my insurance carrier’s formulary.
I’ve been seeing my PCP twice yearly for 10+ years, getting 90-day prescriptions alternating with pickup of paper Rx every 6 months. When asked to sign a “controlled substance agreement” in February, I was happy to do so, working in healthcare myself, fully understanding the reasoning behind it and knowing full well my Adderall usage was legitimate and anything but abusive.
Enter new physician to the practice as my PCP begins preparation for retirement. In between 6-month appointments, I call for a refill, just as I have done for years. I present to the office to retrieve and sign for my Rx, and boom – receptionist asks if I can provide a urine sample. There was no explanation of why, and knowing I had nothing to hide, I complied.
Returning back to the front desk, I’m handed my Rx not for the usual 90-day supply but only 30 and a note saying I will need evaluation at a psychology office for ADHD verification for further refills. WHAT?!
What has happened to continuity of care? Has this individual not reviewed 25+ years of medical records? I logged in to my electronic record, and see a list of various diagnoses over the years – most resolved – and the most important one missing! I started to email my PCP through the electronic system but was halted by the character count limitations and decided instead to take a few days to ponder the situation, all the while trying so hard to NOT feel insulted.
When I returned to my electronic record the following week, surprise – ADHD was again listed as my #1 diagnosis! How that happened is still unclear. I did write an email I thought was going to my PCP, only to have it intercepted by “new” doctor who was covering and admitting she “found” my paper records. She also claimed the urine screen was now a “requirement” for anyone on a controlled substance. Finally, I noted the results of not one but TWO urine tests were posted to my record. My amphetamine level was “appropriate,” and I was negative for all the other substances that her $600 testing checked for. Before I could contest the charge, my insurance company paid their $200 portion, leaving me with a $400 invoice.
I have re-reviewed my “controlled substance agreement” multiple times and can find no mention of this testing being mandatory, only that my physician or designee “may order me to be tested.” That document also does not state I agree to PAY for this test, nor was I asked to sign a consent for payment at the time. This is reminiscent of the recent hepatitis testing that was “mandated” … but nobody in Pennsylvania decided who was responsible to pay for the test.
I contacted my MD’s office and moved my next scheduled appointment with my regular PCP to the next available. To be continued … thanks for letting me rant.
August 12, 2019 at 6:31 pm #125009
I have been subjected to the urine test for the past year, and can certainly relate to the shame/humiliation. My new doctor (my prior PCP retired) requires it monthly. Initially, this struck fear in me because I do not enjoy being a slave to any kind of drug–this would mean I would be REQUIRED to take it whether I felt it necessary or not. This past visit, my doctor informed me that there was no trace of Adderall in my urine. What?? I take it daily, and I had taken it that day, just 30 minutes prior to my appointment, along with every other day that week (although admittedly I don’t take the full dose most days because I prefer to keep some on reserve in the off chance that I forget to go to the pharmacy in time–or if I happen to be traveling out of state). Additionally, I choose to reserve the full dosage on days where I feel I explicitly need it (i.e. work days). As everyone is well aware, the body builds up a tolerance over time and I intend to avoid this from happening to some degree if possible (God forbid I ask for a higher dose should the current dose become ineffective–then I would most certainly be labeled a drug-seeker. No thank you!). Because I knew I had taken the Adderall, and feeling rather humiliated and upset that my doctor had, in so many words, accused me of lying (which would imply that I was what, selling it on the street???) I mentioned that I had been monitoring my blood pressure for the past year, and that since my blood pressure was elevated, couldn’t this be a result of taking Adderall? Her response was to write me a prescription for blood pressure medication, and send me off with another referral to a behavioral health center. I am humiliated and upset. I have been taking Adderall (originally Vyvanse until my insurance provider changed) for the past 7 years. It has helped me tremendously in my work and daily life, and I am now being forced off of it without so much as an explanation. I have never abused it or taken more than my prescribed dose, and I feel that I am alone in this. I do not want to return to the doctor who accused me of not taking my medication, but I fear that changing providers will cause me even more issues/jumping through hoops–simply because I want to continue taking the medication that has helped me for years. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
August 12, 2019 at 9:30 pm #125020
New here. Been taking Adderall probably for 8 years. I went to do my 6 month checkup for other stuff and my bloodwork required me to test for the adderal.
This doctor started me on them but did not feel comfortable anymore with the dosage so I see someone else. This doctor is my main physician.
Anyway, he asked me why i didn’t fill the request for the test.
I told him I don’t have insurance and I have no problem testing for this but you guys need to pick up the tab,i told him I’d test right now. He hasn’t asked me since.
I understand why they ask. Adderall sells for a minimum of 10 bucks a piece on the street and the last time i looked Adderall was the most abused drug on Wallstreet.
People have asked me for some before,i wouldn’t give it up because that would make me short,I need this drug to function.
As I have gotten better with my executive functions I realize thats alot of money to give up along with a short stay in jail. Dosen’t seem worth the trade if i got caught or something bad happened to the person i was giving it to.
I try to pick my fights today and avoid most. I am no perfect ADHD patient, this topic seemed to hit a nerve so i wanted to chime in.
August 13, 2019 at 10:39 am #125090
The first time I got tested surprised me. I was handed a cup and asked for a urine sample. No explanation as of why. Then while the nurse was taking my vitals, I asked if the sample was for a drug test to make sure I was taking my methylphenidate (concerta) and not selling it… which she replied yes.
Honestly, the testing doesn’t bother me. I have ADD. My brain processes things differently. Its part of who I am and my personality. It is not an embarrassment.
HOWEVER, I just got tested for the second time a few weeks ago and I just got a bill for $384.98 for “Laboratory” from our local health system. This is after my insurance covered $118.02. So a total of $503… so I called and verified…this was for the drug test. So I am being charged $385 to prove I am taking my medicine.
THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE!
I will be contacting my physician office to update my medical file as I will be discontinuing the use of my mediation.
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