Let’s be honest, moving sucks. Having ADHD and moving out of state can be particularly complicated. If you’re looking for the essential ADHD tips for moving out of state. you’ve arrived at the right place!
Essential ADHD Tips for Moving Out of State
Read Short Version
- Getting prescribed ADHD medication is a process. One explanation for this is that it’s challenging to recognize and diagnose ADHD in the first place, even for medical professionals.
- If you have a prescription already and you’re moving out of state, you’ll need to talk with your doctor ahead of time to understand the medication refill system.
- The good news is that now, you can continue getting treatment from your original doctor. But keep in mind that your initial evaluation must have been done in person. Also, your doctor must be DEA certified to prescribe this highly controlled medication.
- For refills on your prescription meds, you can contact your prescriber via phone, email, or video conference. Thank you, telehealth!
- It was more complicated to continue treatment after moving to a different state. Then the pandemic happened, and systems are changing for the better. Yay!
I encourage you to at least skim the full version of this post. 🙃 If you’re getting ready to move, you’ll definitely benefit from the meaty details and learn from the mistakes I made when I moved away for the first time!
If you have moved house at least once, you already know how stressful the process can be.
These are the things that are likely occupying your mind and schedule.
- Getting rid of stuff
- Packing box after box
- Canceling utility and Internet bills
- Cleaning every crevice that you chose to ignore the whole time you lived there — I’m definitely not guilty of this. 😉
The list goes on!
And since we’re talking about moving to a different state, you have to factor in a couple more things. And the earlier you do this, the better!
- Have you thought about how you’re going to get your next ADHD medication refill?
- Do you have enough meds to last you until you get settled in your new place? (You’re probably gonna need some extra in case you can’t get a refill during your busy move.)
Yup, if you have ADHD like me, there are extra steps you must plan for when moving out of state.
Trust me, I learned this the hard way.
So, I’d like to help you by sharing some of my experiences with ADHD treatment and how I very poorly navigated the system after I packed up and moved to California.
If you want to avoid the struggles I went through, keep reading, my friend!
Why is it so hard to get ADHD medication?
Unfortunately, plenty of people in the U.S., who do not actually have ADHD, try to get doctors to prescribe them ADHD medication. These people may want the meds to help them get through school. They might even start a “pill mill” where they are prescribed ADHD meds and then sell it illegally. Do you know if these are common problems in your country?
It makes sense that many doctors are hesitant to prescribe to patients, even those who legitimately struggle with ADHD. And rightfully so, since these medical professionals have worked hard to receive their education and licenses to practice. Additionally, doctors could have their certificates taken away if they get tangled up in a legal case.
Prescribing ADHD medication (a highly controlled substance) to someone who should not be taking it, let alone distributing it, has severe consequences.
That is one reason why it’s so challenging to be prescribed ADHD medication.
Another explanation is that ADHD can be so hard to identify and diagnose in the first place, especially in women and girls. If you’re curious to learn more about this issue, check this post out!
How to get ADHD medication in a different state
Until recently, you had to jump through hoops to continue treatment for ADHD after moving out of state.
Not only did you have to establish treatment with a new doctor in a new place, but in some cases, you were required to get ANOTHER evaluation. For those of you who don’t know, the process of getting an evaluation requires time and money.
This might sound pretty painless, but it can be a lot when you’re already dealing with a big move and adjusting to a new life in a new place.
When I moved out of state for the first time, I was a clueless, fresh-outta-high school kid. I didn’t realize the value of caring for my mental health, and therefore, I did not prioritize getting the medical treatment I needed after moving to California.
Long story short, I wish I would have committed to researching the process of continuing treatment after moving, even if it meant having to jump through all the hoops again.
Getting the proper treatment would have saved me a lot of stress and anxiety, to say the least!
Instead, I self-medicated.
Exercise helped. Relying on substances like alcohol only exacerbated my ADHD symptoms.
I struggled my way through lectures, deadlines, and exams. I put in an insane amount of hours just to keep up with my peers, just as I did in high school.
Drinking and letting loose on the weekend is what I lived for. But unfortunately, I didn’t have much balance outside of studying and partying. Sound familiar to you?
If only I had just committed to getting the help I needed. I can’t stress enough how important this is.
Getting the proper treatment can help you:
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Create structure and balance in your life
- Reduce procrastination
- Build confidence and self-esteem
- Cut out unhealthy habits
Just to name a few.
But in my case, I was too immature to know better back then. Lesson learned.
ADHD Medication Refill Policy 2020
Now let’s go back to the process of receiving treatment for your ADHD. I have some fantastic news!
A silver lining to all that’s happened in the world in the past two years is expanding telehealth. It is enabling us quicker and more convenient access to medical services. Thankfully, that includes ADHD treatment.
The Drug Enforcement Association (DEA) made a significant and permanent change in March 2020.
This is a big deal!
You can now continue being prescribed medication by your original prescriber as long as your initial evaluation was done in person and your doctor is DEA certified.
Getting prescriptions can be done by phone, Internet, or video conferences. About time, am I right?
For more information on this, please check out this link.
Now that I’m learning and sharing knowledge about mental health, I’m much more aware of the value of prioritizing it.
I realize now that part of why I didn’t take my ADHD seriously was because no one else was either.
Let me clarify.
As mentioned in my other post on how my diagnosis changed my life, it is still complicated to diagnose people. ADHD is an “invisible” brain difference that goes unrecognized in many cases.
It can take years or even decades to recognize your own symptoms. And unfortunately, when many women or girls address their concerns with one or more doctors, they are quickly dismissed.
As a result, it’s common for women to hear that they don’t have ADHD because “they’ve made it this far,” or they “seem fine,” or “they’re too successful to have ADHD.”
It’s difficult to describe your struggles if you don’t yet understand yourself. It’s even tougher to explain to a doctor you just met and may already be doubting your traits.
If you can’t advocate for yourself or you’ve already tried and failed, I recommend asking someone who knows you well for support.
For instance, a parent or someone close to you growing up would be a great co-advocate. Ask this person to provide some background on you as a kid.
- What did they observe in your behavior?
- What limitations and strengths did they recognize?
In addition, if you and this person speak with your doctor together, it can help both you and the doctor better understand your needs.
I hope that I’ve provided you with some helpful information today. I know everyone’s situation is different. For example, I moved from the U.S. to Japan nearly five years ago, but I only got prescribed medication four years in.
Let me know if you want any advice on getting treatment in another country!
I really appreciate you stopping by, and I’m grateful to have the space to reflect on my journey with ADHD.
Take care and see you next time!