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SCOTUS begins issuing new opinions, with another expected related to the power of federal agencies, the battleground state of Wisconsin gets a ruling on alternative voting sites, and coastal work is being done to help salt marshes withstand hurricanes.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Drug Shortage Leads Some to Alternative Treatment Options

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Friday, May 19, 2023   

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and in Tennessee and across the country there is a shortage of medication used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which affects more than 16 million people.

The condition was previously classified as a childhood disorder, but recent long-term studies suggest up to 90% of children diagnosed will continue to have ADHD as adults.

Dr. Greg Mattingly, associate clinical professor at Washington University and president-elect of The American Professional Society of ADHD and Related Disorders, said 8% to 10% of children in Tennessee are affected, making it the most common neurological condition in children.

An Adderall shortage and too few clinicians has led to a crisis, but he noted there are still many treatment options available.

"We have some stimulants, both Amphetamine and methylphenidate, that instead of taking them multiple times a day, you take them once a day," Mattingly outlined. "We also have four non-stimulants that are approved for kids with ADHD, two of those that are approved for adults with ADHD, tamoxifen and Calibri, both of which have very good supply as well."

Mattingly added to never assume you have ADHD. Instead, seek professional medical help to get a diagnosis. He explained a physician can assist Tennesseans with learning tips and tricks about how to be more organized, and less forgetful and how to structure their life in a way to be more successful if they are prone to having ADHD.

Mattingly acknowledged the Food and Drug Administration is blaming the shortage on manufacturing delays, but pointed out during the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of ADHD diagnosis spiked while people were home trying to adjust to working virtually, and while their kids were learning online, a time when many Tennesseans sought help.

"We also had a set supply of ADHD medicines available," Mattingly stressed. "If you have increased demand with a set supply, what happens is you wind up with a shortage. So learning how to find which medicines are still available in my community, talking about some of those once-daily, long-acting medicines that we'd already been moving to before COVID, and finding the one that works the best for me, given my set of symptoms."

Mattingly said there are alternatives beyond medicines such as lifestyle changes and healthy living may also help children and adults with ADHD, and urged parents in Tennessee to make sure kids have access to school psychologists and counselors who can help structure their day with activities and maintain their focus.


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