Q about ADHD meds during a long stay in Guatemala.
April 23, 2010 2:20 PM Subscribe
Here in the US, I'm prescribed Adderall for ADHD. This summer, I'll be spending 2+ months doing a mentally taxing project in rural Guatemala. Help me figure out how to make this work. Bonus points for any
first-hand knowledge about ADHD treatment in Guatemala — legal aspects, practical aspects, whatever — or for any good sources to consult on the subject.
posted by nebulawindphone to Travel & Transportation around Guatemala (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
One catch is that Adderall — and, for that matter, all the other stimulant medications for ADHD — are Schedule II in the US. This means, as I understand it, that my psychiatrist can't prescribe me more than a one-month supply at a time, and can't write me a refillable prescription. It would be technically legal for him to write me multiple post-dated prescriptions for one month each, but he's not comfortable doing it. And anyway, I don't know if that would help, because....
...the other catch is that I've been unable to find information on the legality or practical availability of ADHD meds in Guatemala. (The subject is essentially ungoogleable as far as I can tell — all I get is 0NL1N3 PH4RMAC1ES!!1, articles about the US drug war spilling over into Central America, and Spanish-language Scientologist anti-psychiatry propaganda.) So I don't know if an Adderall prescription would be fillable there even if I had one.
Any suggestions on making this work without going off my meds for the summer would be greatly appreciated.
Since they're bound to come up:
- I am not interested in doing anything illegal. When it comes to crossing borders, I'm not even interested in doing anything vaguely suspicious if I can help it.
- My psychiatrist is an honest guy, and very good at what he does. Having him fudge my prescription (i.e. by tripling the "dosage" so I get three months' supply) is almost certainly out of the question, and I'm reluctant even to ask because I want to maintain a good relationship with him.
- I've found non-stimulant ADHD meds — in particular, Wellbutrin and Strattera — to be unhelpful. I haven't tried any of the stimulant meds besides Vyvanse and Adderall, but I might be willing to switch to one of them temporarily if it was available in Guatemala in a straightforward way.
- I'll be about halfway between Chichicastenango and Quetzaltenango. With a little work, I could make a weekend trip to Guatemala City or Antigua. In a pinch, I could stop someplace like Mexico City on my way down, and it's not totally inconceivable that I might be able to stop somewhere in Belize. Coming back to the US for a doctor's appointment partway through my trip is out of the question — too expensive.
- Please don't try to convince me to go off my meds. I'm going down there to do linguistic fieldwork. Essentially, I'll be learning a non-Indo-European language from scratch. I would totally just go off them for the summer if this were a recreational trip; as is, though, I want to be at my best attention-wise.