NIANTIC, Conn. (WTNH) — “I was the really chatty kid. I was always interrupting,” said Becky L. McCoy, recently diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in her 30s.
She had gotten by for most of her life, but a difficult time made coping impossible.
“With the pandemic and being home with my kids, a single mom, trying to work, finishing grad school, all those things just put me way past my own ability to cope,” she said.
But the diagnosis and the drug Concerta – a long-acting form of Ritalin – has made a huge difference for McCoy, as well as her son, who also shared symptoms and was subsequently diagnosed.
“He just looked at me one day and said my brain is so calm,” she said of the effects of the drug. “I’m all of a sudden able to get my work done without constantly being distracted.”
But then, the US Food and Drug Administration announced the shortage of ADHD drugs – including Adderall – in October.
A worried McCoy said she is now having trouble finding medication.
“We were able to get a very small amount,” she said.
The FDA released the following statement:
The public should rest assured the FDA is working closely with numerous manufacturers and others in the supply chain to understand, mitigate and prevent or reduce the impact of intermittent or reduced availability of certain products.
McCoy – a public speaker with a podcast who works in suicide prevention – said she worries that the shortages will lead to serious mental health problems for many patients.
“It’s really really frustrating to hear people talk about wanting to prevent suicide and then seeing people not doing anything,” she said, wondering why manufacturers aren’t producing more medication to match increased diagnoses.
This mom of two is waiting day by day, desperate for progress.
“I know how dark the depressive episodes can get. I don’t want that for my son,” she said, noting concerns for herself, as well. “I don’t want to go back there.”
McCoy is making connections and raising awareness on social media. She plans to reach out to lawmakers.
The FDA’s statement also said manufacturers expect availability to increase in the near future.