DELAWARE – A prescription drug shortage continues following supply chain issues last year.

“Delaware does have a stimulant crisis,” said Katie Capelli, Senior Epidemiologist for the Division of Public Health.

A crisis that is impacting those using medication to treat Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Health officials say there was a 50% increase in dispensing prescription drugs. “Due to the availability of telemedicine, due to the symptoms of being at home, there was definitely an overabundance of diagnosis of ADHD during this time period. When you have a high demand you need to have a high supply,” said Capelli. “Also I think people being afraid to talk about the challenges they have where they might need a prescription for a certain medication. The stigma around all of that leads people to look for other alternatives as well,” said Domenica Personti, MS, LCDP, CADC, Chief Executive Officer at Impact Life.

With the supply for prescription drugs not keeping up with demand, those in need have gotten their drugs off the street. “So there’s a high likelihood if that stimulant drug, like ADHD medication – if Adderall was not prescribed by your doctor and you get it from an online source or friend, or possibly an associate that you’re going to work or school with it could be laced or mixed with some other drug like Fentanyl,” said Capelli.

Katie Capelli with the Division of Public Health says the stimulant crisis is growing at record numbers. “In 2021 we’ve had the second highest rate of cocaine-involved overdoses in the country so this is huge. In 2020 it was about 39% of all of our overdoses opioid had a stimulant involved,” said Capelli.

Domenica Personti at Impact Life says a solution is needed now before it gets worse. “We’re in a place where that’s something we need to be concerned about and looking at. Do I think it will be to the level of the opioid epidemic, I mean you have people that tell you they never thought that would have resulted in where we’re at right now so you just don’t know,” said Personti.

DPH says they are working on educating prescribers on alternative medication for those suffering from ADHD. The Department of Health and Social Services encourages patients to learn more about how to safely dispose of prescription drugs by visiting their website.

Original article by Deja Parker | October 3, 2023: