FAQ about ADHD

Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions:

Information on ADHD

What is ADHD?

What are the symptoms of ADHD?

Explaining ADHD to others


Information on diagnosis

Diagnosis steps

What is needed for a diagnosis of ADHD as an adult?

ASRS test

How do I go about getting a diagnosis?

What if I have other psychiatric issues?

Going private for an ADHD diagnosis

Right to choose

Childhood diagnosis

Evidence childhood

Medication titration

Discharged without titration

Refused shared care

Urgent help/support

What can I do if I am struggling with my mental health?

Support and information

1:1 support



PIP mandatory reconsideration

Support groups

Freedom pass

Addiction support

Online community (Discord)

Workplace issues

ADHD in the workplace

Access to Work

Work issues


Finding a coach

Coaching courses

Debt and housing issues

Debt and housing issues

Driving and insurance

Do I have to tell the DVLA that I have ADHD?


Everything else

Academic Appeals

London Marathon

Moving to the UK

Start up ideas/apps

Study requests



Travelling with ADHD medication

Volunteering with us

Medication shortages

I came here looking for The ADHD Adults podcast!

What is ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder in which the brain develops differently from typical brains. It is thought to affect between 2-4% of the population. It is associated with symptoms (below) and an increased risk of co-existing psychiatric conditions such as anxiety, mood disorders and eating disorders.

What are the symptoms of ADHD?

There are 3 presentations of ADHD.

Predominantly Inattentive, and these are the symptoms of ‘Inattention’:

  • Makes careless mistakes/lacks attention to detail
  • Difficulty sustaining attention
  • Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
  • Fails to follow through on tasks and instructions
  • Exhibits poor organization
  • Avoids/dislikes tasks requiring sustained mental effort
  • Loses things necessary for tasks/activities
  • Easily distracted (including unrelated thoughts)
  • Is forgetful in daily activities

Predominantly hyperactive/impulsive, and these are the symptoms of ‘Hyperactivity/Impulsivity’:

  • Fidgets with or taps hands or feet, squirms in seat
  • Leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected
  • Experiences feelings of restlessness
  • Has difficulty engaging in quiet, leisurely activities
  • Is “on-the-go” or acts as if “driven by a motor”
  • Talks excessively
  • Blurts out answers
  • Has difficulty waiting their turn
  • Interrupts or intrudes on others

Or combined type, which is both inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive.

What is needed for a diagnosis of ADHD in an adult?

To get a diagnosis, the following need to be met:

  • Positive for 5/9 symptoms of inattentiveness and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity
  • Several symptoms (inattentive or hyperactive/impulsive) were present before the age of 12 years.
  • Several symptoms (inattentive or hyperactive/impulsive) must be present in 2 or more settings (e.g. at home, school, or work; with friends or relatives; in other activities).
  • There is clear evidence that the symptoms interfere with or reduce the quality of social, academic, or occupational functioning.
  • Symptoms do not occur exclusively during the course of schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder and are not better explained by another mental disorder (e.g. mood disorder, anxiety disorder, dissociative disorder, personality disorder, substance intoxication, or withdrawal).

How can I test my symptoms before going further?

There is a test called the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRSv1.1) which is over 90% sensitive/specific in detecting someone who may have ADHD. A link to the ASRS self-report symptom test can be found here.

How do I go about getting a diagnosis?

To get a fully NHS accepted diagnosis, a specialist psychiatrist has to make a decision based on an assessment. You can ask your GP to be referred for this assessment, based on reporting the symptoms as a child and adult, how your ADHD affects you now, and your ASRS scores.

You can take the official ASRS test here to see whether you have symptoms of ADHD.

You then need to speak to your GP and ask them to refer you for an ADHD diagnosis. We have a script to help you with this here.

If you live in England, you can ask to be referred under Right to Choose which can cut down waiting times.

There is more information on diagnosis on this page of our website.

What if I have other psychiatric issues?

Many psychiatrists will, at the point of diagnosing ADHD, focus on treating the most important issue first. Therefore, if you have a dual diagnosis of ADHD and a mood disorder, they will focus on treating the mood disorder first, as this is more important. Equally, if you have a significant anxiety disorder and ADHD, the anxiety disorder may be focused on first.


In order to get a diagnosis, you need to satisfy 5 questions:

  1. You have sufficient symptoms
  2. You have had the symptoms since childhood.
  3. You have had the symptoms for at least 6 months as an adult.
  4. Your symptoms are causing a moderate impact on more than 1 area of your life (i.e. work, relationships, education).
  5. There is no other obvious psychiatric disorder that could cause your symptoms.

You can take the official ASRS test here to see whether you have symptoms of ADHD.

You then need to speak to your GP and ask them to refer you for an ADHD diagnosis. We have a script to help you with this here.

If you live in England, you can ask to be referred under Right to Choose which can cut down waiting times. We have more information on this here.

Going private for an ADHD diagnosis

Before you decide seek diagnosis privately, speak to your GP and ask whether they will agree to sign a shared care agreement. This document is the agreement that they will take on prescribing any medication you are given on the NHS.

Many people have paid for a private diagnosis before speaking to their GP, and the GP has subsequently refused to sign the shared care agreement. As GPs are not legally obliged to sign a shared care agreement, we would hate to see you pay for a private diagnosis and then have to pay privately for your medication. We have more information on shared care agreements here.

If you decide to go private, make sure it is clear what the private clinic includes in the cost that they quote you. The NHS generally will not accept your diagnosis if you are not fully titrated onto medication. If you go to your GP with a private diagnosis, but without being titrated onto medication, they will almost always put you to the back of the queue in local community services in order for you to be titrated first. It is therefore important to know what you are getting for the money you are paying.

Beyond this, there are many private clinics that offer what is essentially a similar service: diagnosis, titration, and letter of discharge to your GP. We do not have any clinics that we specifically recommend, but now that most clinics have an online service, you do not have to look for ones that are necessarily in your area.

Our advice would be to google ‘private ADHD clinic’, have a look at what clinics offer in terms of price and have a look at:

  • whether or not they are regulated by the CQC (you can search for providers here)
  • whether the person that will be diagnosing you is a member of the General Medical Council (GMC) and is on their specialist register (you can check this here)
  • what their customer feedback looks like. Any clinic that does not have some form of writing on one of the various sites that rate services will probably be hiding something, so they are to be avoided.

We have more information on diagnosis here.

Right to choose

If you are in England and it is available in your area, Right to Choose can be a quicker option than the NHS.

You can find details on how to go about getting a diagnosis on this page of our website and details about Right to Choose on this page.

We would also suggest following this up with a medical secretary afterwards just to make sure the referral has been completed.

Discharged without titration

There are usually 3 options after you are diagnosed privately:

  1. You can continue with private care.
  2. A shared care agreement is put in place between your psychiatrist and your GP so that your titration is monitored by your psychiatrist, but medication is provided through your GP on the NHS. 
  3. You are discharged to your GP without a shared care agreement in place and without a plan for titration.

A private assessment by a GMC registered psychiatrist should be just as valid as an NHS ADHD assessment, and many GPs are happy to recognise this, but unfortunately it is at the GP’s discretion as to whether they accept a private diagnosis. 

Sometimes GPs will agree, as a compromise, to take on shared care with your psychiatrist, so that you can access treatment while you wait for your referral on the NHS pathway, but again, this is at their discretion. We have more information on shared care agreements on this page of our website.

If you chose to be diagnosed without the option of being titrated onto medication for ADHD, or this option was not available to you, and your GP accepts your diagnosis, they may be able to refer you for titration through the NHS. Waiting times for this vary depending on your area and the services available.

It may also be possible to be referred for titration only through Right to Choose but you would need to contact the Right to Choose provider to check that this service is available and also speak to your GP to ask to be referred.

Do I have to tell the DVLA that I have ADHD?

Although many people are told that they have to, you only have to inform the DVLA about your ADHD if your ADHD or your ADHD medication affects your ability to drive safely. Guidance from the DVLA can be found here.

ADHD in the workplace

We have guides here on our website for employees and employers, with guidance on reasonable adjustments that can be made to help employees with ADHD. You can give the guide for employers to your manager so that they can understand a little about ADHD and the sorts of adjustments that might be useful for you. You are also able to get help through Access to Work here.

If it is possible for you, we would always recommend joining a trade union. You can find more information on trade unions with a list of unions and their contact details here.

We would also recommend that you contact ACAS for free advice. You can give them a call on 0300 123 1100. You do not have to give them your name, or any details, and they will give you free, impartial advice on workplace rights, rules and best practice. They also offer dispute resolution including mediation and arbitration if needed.

Citizen’s Advice also have some great information and links to resources here, including advice and links to help with representation if needed. You can also talk to the Citizens Advice online, by telephone / Relay or face to face. More details can be found here.

If you have a diagnosis of ADHD then you are protected by the 2010 Equalities Act, as ADHD is a protected disability if your ADHD is having a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. What this means in practical terms is that you are entitled to an occupational health assessment which should take into account how ADHD affects your ability to work.

The assessment should produce a set of suggestions for reasonable adjustments that your employer must consider making to give you a fair chance to be successful at work. The term ‘reasonable adjustment’ is open to interpretation, and this means that employers or not obliged to accept all the recommendations of an occupational health report, but they should justify why they decide not to enforce a reasonable adjustment this is their decision.

Reasonable adjustments can normally include the following

  • Noise-cancelling headphones.
  • Flexible working hours.
  • Software to support your organisation, such as Microsoft To Do, EndNote, Grammarly, Asana or Todoist.
  • If working in an office or other building (as opposed to working from home), having a space where you can go if you feel overwhelmed provision of technology such as a Dictaphone or dictation software to allow you to communicate more effectively.
  • Access to ‘disability leave’, a special type of leave which does not impact your sick leave or annual leave, allowing you to attend appointments that are specific to your disability.

To access these reasonable adjustments, you must report your ADHD diagnosis to your HR department. ACAS has some details of reasonable adjustments on their webpage here.

We have guides here on our website for employees and employers with guidance on reasonable adjustments that can be made to help employees with ADHD.

Access To Work (A2W)

Related to reasonable adjustments is the Department for Work and Pensions scheme known as ‘Access to Work’. If you are an adult with ADHD who is looking for a paid job or already employed or self employed and you live in England, Scotland or Wales, you are eligible for help through Access to Work. You can check if you are eligible here and apply here.

For Northern Ireland details on Access to work NI can be found here, details on the Condition Management Programme can be found here and details on Workable NI can be found here.

Access to work is particularly helpful because it is a scheme which pays for between 80 and 100% of the cost of any adjustments in the workplace or adjustments to help you to gain employment. If you are self-employed or work for a small or medium sized business 100% of the cost will be met. If you work for a larger organisation 80% of the cost will be met. Employers are more willing to engage in providing reasonable adjustments met by the department for work and pensions. You can find details of the scheme here at the Department for Work and Pensions Access to Work page.

A diagnosis of ADHD is not needed in order to use the Access to Work Scheme but having a diagnosis significantly helps.

The scheme may cover:

  • Practical support
  • A support worker, assistant, mentor, coach or counsellor
  • Adapted or specialist equipment such as physical or digital planners, digital notebooks, mind mapping tools, visual timers, noise cancelling headphones, a sit/stand desk, an under desk bike/treadmill, wobble board or exercise ball to sit on, speech to text software, task management software
  • Help with transport to and from work
  • ADHD awareness training for your workplace

If you are employed Access to Work will also work with your employer to advise them on how best to support you in the workplace, including any reasonable adjustments. Costs are initially paid by your employer and then claimed back from the Department of Work and Pensions. You will therefore need to disclose your ADHD to your employer if you wish to receive support.

To apply you will need to submit:

  • Your contact details
  • Your workplace address and postcode
  • Information on how your ADHD affects your work no matter how big or small
  • Details of anything that your employer is currently doing to help or that you are currently doing to help yourself at the moment
  • Details of what support you think you may need
  • If you are employed, details of a workplace contact who can confirm that you work there (they will not be contacted without your permission)
  • If you are self-employed, your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number

You can apply online here or by calling the Access to Work helpline between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

Telephone: 0800 121 7479

Textphone: 0800 121 7579

Relay: 18001 then 0800 121 7479

BSL video relay service here.

After you apply someone from Access to Work will contact you to talk about your application and ask for more information about your work and your ADHD. They will also ask for permission to speak to your employer, if you are employed, and they will arrange for an assessor to call you or view your workplace by video call or in person to find out what support might help.

An assessor from Access to Work will then contact you and ask for more information on your work circumstances and how your ADHD affects you to decide what support you may need. They may also need to speak to your employer.

If your circumstances change or if you disagree with a decision or are unhappy with how your case has been handled or with the service you received, you should call the Access to Work helpline between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

Telephone: 0800 121 7479

Textphone: 0800 121 7579

Relay: 18001 then 0800 121 7479

BSL video relay service here.

Will my ADHD affect my car or life insurance?

There is currently no UK law demanding that you inform your car insurance provider about your ADHD or medication; however, you may want to speak to your Insurance Company, as any medical condition is deemed notifiable and may protect you if you are involved in a claim.

Life insurance companies may refuse to insure your life if you have ADHD. It is often easier to find life insurance through a broker as they will be able to get multiple quotes for you.

Where can I get help and advice with PIP?

We have some information regarding PIP on our website here.

This website also gives advice on how to answer the questions.

The Citizens Advice service also offers help with filling out PIP forms on their website here and you can speak to an adviser online, by phone or by going into your local centre. More details can be found here

Turn2us have information and help on PIP here and a tool to help you find an adviser to help here.

Do I need evidence from my childhood for a diagnosis?

As late diagnosed adults we often do not have the physical evidence or parental input that is asked for from childhood, and you will not be the only one who does not have this. Have a look at the symptoms of ADHD and have specific examples prepared for both childhood and adulthood so that you can talk about them. 

If you do have anyone close to you that you could ask to give any examples, that could be useful, but they should understand that not all adults have access to this.

Having some notes to fall back on during the assessment is helpful and we have lots of resources here to help you prepare for your assessment, including a guide on explaining your ADHD and important points to get across in your ADHD screening assessment and this link will also help with diagnosis.

We also have a supportive online community on Discord where you can connect with others who may struggle with the same things as you.

There are lots of sub forums, including dedicated forums for application, assessment, medication, and post diagnosis, where people share their experiences.

It is really normal to be nervous about your assessment. Try to remember your psychiatrist is there to help you, not catch you out. 

Where can I get help with debt and housing issues?

The Citizens Advice service will be able to help and advise you with debt and housing issues. Contact them via telephone, online, or by going into your local Citizen’s Advice centre. You can find details here

Turn2us have information on advice and support for debt problems here and advice on help with housing costs here. They also have a tool to find a local adviser to help here.

The Disability Law Service also provide free help. You can contact them by phone or email. Details are on this link.

If I was diagnosed as a child does this still count as an adult?

Unfortunately, even if you had a diagnosis as a child, your GP will usually send you for diagnosis again as an adult if you are not currently being treated under the care of a psychiatrist for ADHD.

We have resources to help with diagnosis here.

How can I explain my ADHD to others?

It is important to understand what ADHD is yourself so that you can explain it to others. We have a document to help explain ADHD to others here, as well as lots of other resources to help on the ADHD guides section on our website.

There is a podcast episode on this, made by some of our trustees, which may also help and there are some short videos with information on ADHD on the podcast’s YouTube channel.

What can I do if I am struggling with my mental health?

If you are struggling, we would urge you to go back to your GP and tell them how you are feeling so that they can help you to access talking therapy and other mental health services. If you’d like to self-refer for talking therapy please visit this link.

If you or someone you know needs urgent medical attention or is suicidal please visit the A&E department of your nearest hospital or make an emergency GP appointment.

If there is an immediate risk of harm please call 999. You can also get medical advice by calling the non-emergency line by calling 111 or visiting NHS 111 online if you live in England, Scotland or Wales or by contacting your GP out of hours service if you live in the North of Ireland.

You can find urgent mental helplines below for:




Northern Ireland

Other helplines and listening services delivered by charities can be found below.

Samaritans 116 123

Shout 85258

National Suicide Prevention Helpline 0800 689 5652

Mind Infoline 0300 123 3393

Saneline 0300 304 7000

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) 0800 585858

Helplines Partnership

You can also access coaching through access to work. We have more information on Access to Work on this page of our website.

It may also be worth finding out if there is a local ADHD support group in your area. A quick google search should bring up any close to you.

You can also find support groups on these pages:


ADHD Aware


We also have an online community which may help. You can find it here.

How can I volunteer with the charity?

You can apply to be a volunteer here but please do not be too disheartened if it takes us a while to get back to you. We are struggling to keep on top of everything at the minute and have not even begun to start doing the things we want to do with the charity yet. So although we will need lots of volunteers in the future, because our activities are limited at the moment, we do not need too many volunteers just now and we are receiving a lot of applications which are taking us a while to get through.

Bear with us though, we’ll get there!

Does the charity provide advocacy services?

Unfortunately we are a very new and small charity that do not have the volunteers or resources needed to provide advocacy at this time, although this is something that we would like to offer in the future when we are able.

This page gives a list of charities that can help and there are more links here:

The Advocacy People



Does the charity provide one to one support?

We are a very new and very small charity and at present we do not have the volunteers or resources needed to provide one to one support. We do hope that this will change to enable us to do this in the future, but it is not something that we are able to do at this time.

In the meantime getting to know more about ADHD can really help and we have lots of information on the resources page of our website and this page gives information on diagnosis.

There is a podcast made by some of our trustees, which may also help answer some questions, some short videos with information on ADHD on the podcast’s YouTube channel and a supportive online community where you can connect with others who may struggle with the same things that you do.

We also have an online magazine with evidence-based articles.

We also spend a lot of time trying to make sure that there are plenty of resources and information on our social media (@adhdadultuk).

Can you recommend any coaching courses?

At present we do not have any particular courses to recommend (although this is something that we are looking at in the future). Coaching is not a regulated activity in the UK, so anyone can call themselves a coach without any training and it can be difficult to work out which course is best, and some are ridiculously expensive. You can get accredited courses but as it is not a regulated activity there is no official body.

Non-directive coaching works best for ADHD so, we would recommend that you book on a non-directive coaching course and arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible on ADHD.

There are resources to help here.

Coaching courses usually take at least a year to complete and you can then complete further courses to deepen your knowledge from there. You can try a shorter taster coaching course with an online provider to start with so that you don’t waste too much money and can see whether it is something you would enjoy before you pay for a more in-depth coaching course.

My GP has refused to agree to shared care, what can I do?

We have more information on shared care agreements on this page of our website.

Unfortunately, there is no obligation for your GP to take on a shared care agreement but there are some things that you can try.

It is worth asking your private provider if they have any advice or if they can do anything to help as they will come across this all the time.

If you have more than one GP at your practice it is worth making an appointment with another GP to appeal to them and if this is not successful, then you can ask to speak to the practice manager. Emphasise how much you are struggling.

If they still refuse, ask what the complaint procedure is and whether you can have the reasons for refusing the shared care agreement in writing.

If you feel you need to, there is guidance on making a complaint here.

Do you have any resources to help?

We have lots of information on ADHD on our resources page.

There is a podcast made by some of our trustees, which may also help answer some questions, some short videos with information on ADHD on the podcast’s YouTube channel and a supportive online community where you can connect with others who may struggle with the same things that you do.

We have an online magazine with evidence-based articles and we also spend a lot of time trying to make sure that there are plenty of resources and information on our social media (@adhdadultuk).

What about non-UK citizens moving to the UK?

Generally, GPs in the UK cannot prescribe ADHD medication until you have been fully titrated and are settled on an ADHD medication and have found a dose of that medication that suits you. Also, not all GPs are willing to accept a diagnosis from another country either, so I’m afraid this is not a great answer, but it depends entirely on the GP you end up seeing in the UK. GPs can vary from area to area and even within a GP practice. 

Do you have any London marathon charity spaces?

We are a very new and small charity and as you have to pay to register with the London Marathon in order to offer charity places, this is not something that we’ve been able to do just yet. It tends to be larger charities that do this, but it is something we’re looking at for the future. We did have a couple of people run the London Marathon for us last year, but they did this personally and then raised money for us through Just giving.

How do I find an ADHD coach?

If you search for ADHD coaching online, you will find lots of places that offer ADHD coaching.

You can usually book a free introductory session for the coach to explain what coaching is, and what can reasonably be achieved, and to ensure that you have rapport with your coach, as this is really important.

We are looking to build a list of counsellors and coaches in the future but have not had the opportunity to do this yet.

Support Groups

You can find ADHD support groups on the following pages: 


ADHD Aware


If you have a google search for support groups in your area you might find more appropriate groups that are closer to you too. 

We also have an online community where you can speak to others who may be struggling with similar issues. You can find this here.

Freedom Pass

You can apply for a Freedom Pass if your ADHD has a significant impairment on your intelligence and social functioning and the notes from your diagnosis are usually enough to provide proof of this.

Work issues

You do not have to disclose a diagnosis to your employer, but if you do, ADHD is covered by the 2010 Equalities Act if your ADHD is having a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

We would recommend that you contact ACAS for free advice on workplace issues. You can give them a call on 0300 123 1100. You do not have to give them your name, or any details, and they will give you free, impartial advice on workplace rights, rules and best practice. They also offer dispute resolution including mediation and arbitration if needed.  

Academic appeals

Universities have an academic appeals procedure that allows students to appeal if they were not able to submit exceptional circumstances prior to receiving their results. The academic appeals procedure is usually available on the university’s website. If the result of an academic appeal is not to your favour you are also able to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator to review your case.

Start up ideas/apps

As you can imagine we have a lot of requests for input into new start-up/app ideas so it is very difficult for us to find the time to meet and speak to everyone that needs our input and advice on new business/app ideas. Especially as we all work full-time and volunteer for the charity in our spare time outside of work.

We do have an online community that might be able to help with advice and ideas. You can find it here. We do not permit people to sell anything to our online community, but you can request feedback and guidance on business ideas/apps as long as people do not have to sign up to anything that requires payment.

Study request

Please send your ethics approval, participant information sheet and the text you would like us to send out to our online community using this online form and we will advertise this to our online community on our call for volunteers channel. Please note that it takes time for us to verify and action study requests, so please allow plenty of time before your deadline before submitting to us.


Some people do report that some supplements can help them but unfortunately there is no robust evidence to back this up.

Remember that all medications, whether they are natural or pharmaceutical, are chemicals, and all have side effects, whether natural or not. The difference between them is that pharmaceutical drugs have been tested extensively, so that all side effects and benefits are well known and listed.

This is not to say that natural treatments are better or worse, but there is simply not enough evidence yet to prove how effective they are and what the side effects are and because our charity is devoted to providing evidence based information, we can only really advise on treatments that are evidence based and extensively tested.

We always say that if you think it might help you and it’s not expensive, it’s worth trying, because they do anecdotally work for some people, but we would recommend that you monitor the benefits and side effects closely, just as a prescriber would if they prescribed ADHD medication for you.


Our trustees James and Alex are always happy to donate their time for free, to deliver a talk on ADHD, on behalf of the charity, for a donation to the charity. 

Their talks for the charity are generic talks on ADHD which would need to be delivered remotely.

As you can probably appreciate, we have lots of requests for them to deliver talks on behalf of the charity, so we have to limit these to a generic talk via video link. If you would like to request for James or Alex to deliver a talk remotely please email us at adhdadultuk@gmail.com.

Travel with ADHD medication

There is information here on taking medication abroad.

Each country has different rules so it is always best to check with the country’s embassy before you leave.

What is the update on the ADHD medication shortage?

There is currently a shortage of ADHD medication in the UK due to manufacturing issues and an increased global demand. You can find the National Patient Alert here and updates on available ADHD medication here.

If you are struggling to get hold of your usual ADHD medication, you can find local pharmacies to check their stocks here, or Boots have a tool here that allows you to search online to view which branches have medication in stock, which requires less executive function that calling pharmacies individually. You can input the medication name e.g. lisdexamphetamine or the brand name e.g. Elvanse or Elvanse Adult. Elvanse and Elvanse adult are identical medications. They have different licensing but you should be able to be given either medication.

A member of our community has developed a Boots Stock information map that you may find easier to use that the Boots prescription checker. You can find this here.

If your usual dose of medication is not available your GP should be able to update your prescription to alternative doses that are available. For example, if 60mg Elvanse is not available in your area, it may be possible for you to receive a prescription for 3x 20mg Elvanse instead.

It may also be possible to change to an alternative medication that is not affected by the supply shortage.

Alternatives are as follows:

  • Elvanse and Elvanse Adult alternative – unlicensed import of Vyvanse (if available)
  • Guanfacine (Intuniv) 4mg modified release – unlicensed import of Guanfacine (Intuniv) (if available)
  • Atomoxetine – unlicenced Atomoxetine (if available)
  • The following brands of methylphenidate modified-release tablets are bioequivalent to one another – Concerta XL, Affenid XL, Delmosart, Matoride XL, Xaggitin XL and Xenidate XL

Please note that pausing medication of methynphenidate modified release (Equasym XL, Xenidate XL, Xaggitin XL), lisdexamphetamine (Elvanse, Elvanse Adult) and Atomoxetine (Atomoxetine, Strattera) is not physically harmful, although the symptoms that the medication helped with will return, which may have a major impact on your ability to function, which is obviously not ideal!

Guanfacine SHOULD NOT be stopped abruptly however, due to rebound hypertension. An unlicenced import of Guanfacine (Intuniv) may be available. Please cobntact your specialist ADHD team if you are unable to receive your usual supply of Guanfacine.

Addiction issues

There is strong evidence that ADHD adults have a greater risk for ‘substance use disorders’ and addiction, and there is also evidence that smartphone and internet addiction, as well as video game addiction are increased in ADHD. 

There is a remarkable parallel between the three of the major deficits in psychological functioning in addiction and ADHD; impulsivity, diminished sensitivity to reward, and impaired control, which can be explained by the massively overlapping neurobiological issues in both disorders.

The issues with the dopamine-based pleasure and reward systems which link both are neurodevelopment in origin for ADHD and ‘acquired’ in addiction. Therefore, it is easy to see how having a scrambled sense of reward, risk perception and impulsivity in ADHD can help initiate such a cycle of exposure and addiction, and therefore why ADHD is a major risk factor for addiction.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please get help. We have links below to charities and organisations that can offer help and advice:

AA Alcoholics Anonymous has a simple program based on one alcoholic helping another.

CA Cocaine Anonymous is a 12 step fellowship of and by addicts seeking recovery.

UKNA Narcotics Anonymous are recovering drug addicts who can help you get and stay clean.

MA Marijuana Anonymous are a community of recovering addicts who help eachother to recover from marijuana addiction.

Alcohol change UK is a leading UK alcohol charity, formed from the merger of Alcohol Concern and Alcohol Research UK.

Dan 24/7 is a free bilingual drug and alcohol helpline in Wales.

London Friend is the UK’s oldest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans charity. They support the health and mental wellbeing of the LGBT community in and around London and are home to Antidote – the UK’s oldest LGBT drug and alcohol service.

FRANK gives honest information about drugs and helps you find drug and alcohol support near you.

Release provides a free confidential and non-judgemental national information and advice service in relation to drugs and drug laws.

Turning Point are a leading social enterprise, designing and delivering health and social care services in the fields of substance use, mental health, learning disability, autism, acquired brain injury, sexual health, homelessness, healthy lifestyles, and employment.

Rehab online helps you find a rehabilitation service for you or someone else in England and Wales.

SMART Recovery promotes choice in recovery through a national network of mutual-aid meetings and online training programmes.

With you provide free, confidential support with alcohol, drugs or mental health from one of their local services or online.

Families Anonymous is a 12 step fellowship for the family and friends of those individuals with drug, alcohol or related behavioural issues.

Adfam is a national charity tackling the negative effects of drugs and alcohol on family members and friends.

DrugFam provide a seven day a week lifeline of safe, caring and professional support to families, friends, partners and significant others who are struggling to cope with a loved one’s addiction to drugs, alcohol or gambling. They also support those bereaved by drugs, alcohol, gambling and related causes.

Links to support services for problems with gambling

Gamblers Anonymous is an international fellowship of people who have a compulsive gambling problem.

GamLearn is a lived experience network for people that have been impacted directly/indirectly from gambling related harm.

Gamble Aware can help you find the right person or place for support based on what you need and where you are. 

GamCare is the leading provider of information, advice and support for anyone affected by gambling harms.

PIP mandatory reconsideration

The Citizens Advice offer help with appeals and Turn2us have help on this here and here. There is also a tool you can use to help with writing the appeal letter here


Although the podcast raises awareness and money for the charity, the charity is completely separate to the podcast. This is the podcast’s website.

If you’d like to send a message, question, or future podcast topic suggestion to the podcast, please use the forms on this webpage.

You can also find the podcast on social media. They are @theadhdadults

Medication titration

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines on diagnosis and management of ADHD can be found here with recommendations on medication here. If you choose to be treated with medication after diagnosis, you will go through a process called titration, during which your blood pressure, heart rate, weight and any benefits and side effects that you notice from the medication should be monitored carefully to ensure that you are tolerating any medication prescribed and that you are seeing some benefits from taking medication.

In general, adults with ADHD are usually started on a low dose of lisdexamfetamine or methylphenidate and this dose will gradually be increased, with any benefits and side effects monitored closely.

If you have received a trial of methylphenidate over a 6-week period and have not seen a reduction in ADHD symptoms, you will usually be switched to lisdexamfetamine and vice versa.

Those adults whose symptoms have not responded to separate 6-week trials of lisdexamfetamine and methylphenidate or those who cannot tolerate these medications will usually be switched to atomoxetine.

Once a medication is found that is well tolerated and that reduces ADHD symptoms, the dose will be gradually increased in order to find the optimum dose for the individual adult.

Stimulant ADHD medication is effective in 70-80% of people with ADHD and is generally well tolerated. Non-stimulant medication is generally not as effective as stimulant medication but can be better tolerated.

Tolerance, benefits and side effects to ADHD medication is entirely individual. For some people, mediation is life changing, for others, there is a negligible benefit and some people either cannot tolerate medication or do not see any benefit in taking it.

Online community

You can find our online community here on Discord.

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