Before we get started, a quick disclaimer:
This article was written to teach people about how the worlds of telemedicine and virtual care now allow people to get diagnosed and treated for ADHD online. There’s really nothing groundbreaking here. Just as you would visit a psychiatrist and (maybe) receive a prescription in-person, you can now handle everything online.
In fact, some companies specialize in this area – online ADHD diagnosis, psychiatrist appointments, and treatment. We’ll walk through what this whole process looks like, how much it costs, and how it’s fully legal. No loopholes, nothing sketchy, just a new evolution of mental healthcare.
~ Key Takeaways ~
- Telepsychiatry companies enable patients to get diagnosed and treated for ADHD online.
- Not all companies are able to prescribe stimulants, like Adderall. If you know that stimulants work best for you, you’ll need to go with a company like Done.
- It’s never a guarantee that you’ll be prescribed a stimulant, even if you have a positive ADHD diagnosis. Preexisting health conditions come into play.
It’s also worth mentioning that if you’re open to natural supplements for brain health, you should consider checking out our research on the best nootropics for ADHD. You won’t be disappointed.
If you wanna stick around here, though, some quick background and disclaimers on Adderall.
Table of Contents
What does Adderall do?
Adderall and its generic counterparts are powerful stimulants that help those with ADHD stay on top of their lives. For many people out there, it can be invaluable to their success in life – professionally, in daily life, and otherwise.
Adderall works by increasing serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine levels in the central nervous system.
Norepinephrine affects how the brain responds to events – particularly how it pays attention and the speed at which it reacts to outside stimuli.
Dopamine, the body’s “feel good” chemical, creates a rewarding effect. Although dopamine occurs naturally, drugs like Adderall work in overtime to produce even higher levels of it.
Adderall works very well for a lot of people out there. “I can’t believe how I got through life before this!” they think to themselves.
Unsurprisingly, though, these positive effects inevitably lead users to feel a craving for more. After all – it’s working so well, so why not? As your body gets used to the effects of Adderall, however, it naturally builds up a tolerance to it, which leads users to have to take more to achieve the same results. It seems as though every couple of weeks, like clockwork, someone excitedly posts on Reddit’s r/adhd about how great their first Adderall experience made them feel. They’re ECSTATIC. And without fail, everyone else jumps in to assure him or her that the euphoric effects fade away after a week or two.
In the medical sense, the fadeaway of this euphoric is fine. After all, it’s the positive effects of Adderall on the brain that ADHD patients want and need. But for the unlucky few who think otherwise, addiction can rear its ugly head and they begin “chasing the dragon.”
Adderall is a Schedule II substance in the United States, meaning it is a “drug with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.” (source DEA). This is one reason why recreation use of Adderall is so dangerous, and why it’s essential that your use is supervised by a licensed psychiatrist.
The purpose of this article is to educate everyone to the best of my ability: both on the dangers of Adderall, and on how to legally be prescribed Adderall online. The answer to the latter is quite simple: schedule an online appoint with a psychiatrist (online).
Who can prescribe Adderall?
While many different medical professionals can diagnose you with ADHD, only psychiatrists, neurologists, and family physicians can prescribe Adderall.
Remember that Adderall is a Schedule II substance (along with the likes of Ambien, Xanax, etc.), meaning it’s heavily regulated and controlled. As such, technically it’s required that you see an in-person doctor to be diagnosed and prescribed. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, these restrictions have been lifted by the DEA in an effort to protect the nation’s prescription supply chain.
Can you buy Adderall online?
NO – you can’t just go on Amazon and buy Adderall like you would with vitamins. Remember that it’s a very serious drug with a high potential for addiction.
But what you can do is schedule a virtual appointment with a provider / practitioner who can diagnose and treat you for ADHD (if they believe you do struggle from it).
If there’s any silver lining to the pandemic, it’s that telehealth has become more accessible and affordable than ever. And the nationwide Public Health Emergency that was put into effect in the US has made telehealth more robust than ever before. So while you can’t just buy Adderall online, you can go through the normal process of diagnostics, treatment, and receiving prescription medication (if applicable) – all online. While it may not be as fast as adding a product to your shopping cart, it’s still fully legal, fast, and ensures that you’re taking these drugs under proper medical supervision and guidance.
How to get diagnosed with ADHD online
Keep in mind that this is only currently possible while the nationwide Public Health Emergency is in effect. Why? Because the Ryan Haight Act was temporarily lifted for the duration of the PHE, allowing Americans easier access to getting medical help virtually. Once things return to normal, any newly diagnosed ADHD patients will have to begin the process in person. So for the sake of convenience, it’s best to get started now, if you’d like to do things from home.
As is the case in person, you can only be prescribed Adderall by being diagnosed with ADHD by a licensed psychiatrist or physician. Rather than booking an appointment with a psychiatrist at a traditional clinic, though, certain telehealth companies that support ADHD treatment empower patients to connect with licensed doctors. We’ll recommend a couple highly-rated companies down below.
The process itself is very straightforward:
- Fill out a quick intake questionnaire of basic information (15 mins or so).
- If the survey indicates ADHD as a likely issue, then you’ll schedule a time to meet with a doctor (virtually) to confirm the diagnosis.
- Usually 24-48 hours of submitting the questionnaire, you’ll get a call informing you of next steps. But generally you can expect your appointment to be 2-3 weeks out, because their services are in such high demand. A quick word of advice: start now by filling out that questionnaire. The sooner you start, the sooner you can be on the road to treatment.
- Done. Any medication will be delivered to your door, and you can connect with your fully-licensed provider anytime for checkups and to discuss dosage.
How to get prescribed Adderall online
Quite simply: if the conversation with your doctor signals to him or her that you might have ADHD, they’ll develop a treatment plan for you. In many cases, this includes a low dose of Adderall, or other commonly-prescribed medications like Vyvanse.
In certain cases, like if you have a history of addiction or hypersensitivity to stimulants, your doctor may prescribe a different medication to you. And again, it’s the doctors’ ultimate decision on the diagnosis; not yours. Just be open and honest about what you feel. After all, it’s their job to help make you better, so rest assured they’ll do everything they can to help treat you.
There’s no real “secret” to how this is all possible to do online. The solution simply exists because these companies have spent the last year+ building rockstar teams of licensed psychiatrists and nurse practitioners to diagnose and treat ADHD patients. And again, we’re in this “window of time” where everything can be done virtually. Again – after this window, only your first intake appointment will need to occur in person.
How hard is it to get prescribed Adderall?
Ok, here’s the thing: it’s ridiculously easy to set up an appointment with a psychiatrist, virtually, as long as you’re familiar with which companies can actually support you. It’s not always as easy as calling up your general physician and opening a discussion about ADHD. There’s no “gaming the system” here, though. And there’s no “cheat sheet” for either the questionnaire or the appointment itself.
If, based on your questionnaire and conversation, your psychiatrist thinks you might have some degree of ADHD that medication like Adderall might help out with, then great! He or she may prescribe you Adderall at that time, which will be delivered to your door. And they’ll support you over time to make sure you’re taking the right dosages, that it’s working, etc.
If you’re reading this thinking “will I just automatically be prescribed Adderall?”, the answer is a big NOPE. Adderall is a controlled substance for a reason. What these companies offer is really the only legal, reliable, streamlined way of diagnosing and treating your ADHD online, and potentially getting a prescription like Adderall (if the psychiatrist deems it’s appropriate). But they do prescribe it. And if your psychiatrist does agree that you most likely have ADHD, there’s a darn good chance you may be prescribed a low dosage of Adderall. And if your body doesn’t react well to stimulants, don’t be scared – they have non-stimulant medications that you can try out, too.
Adderall can be life changing for many people who genuinely need it and use it properly. However, it’s not the do-it-all, wonder drug that society makes it out to be. It’s not for everyone and it certainly doesn’t come without a mouthful of side effects. According to WebMD side effects of Adderall include: loss of appetite, weight loss, dry mouth, stomach upset/pain, nausea/vomiting, dizziness, headache, diarrhea, fever, nervousness, and trouble sleeping.
Read more about that here.
How much does it cost to get ADHD treatment online?
Depending on the provider you use, you can expect to pay a flat fee for your first visit (around $200), plus ~$50/mo for medication. Generally, medication can be covered by insurance. And once you get that initial consult out of the way, you can expect to only pay for medication moving forward, unless you require a follow-up appointment for medication management.
And remember that even if you’re diagnosed with ADHD, you’re not guaranteed / forced to take Adderall, specifically. Some people are hyper-sensitive to stimulants, for example, so obviously their provider wouldn’t prescribe them a stimulant like Adderall. This is a conversation that you and your psychiatrist will have. And from there, he or she may choose to prescribe you Adderall, Vyvanse, Mydayis, etc.
How is this legal?
As mentioned before, the restrictions around virtual psychiatry have been temporarily lifted for the duration of the Public Health Emergency. Previously, what’s known as the Ryan Haight Act prevented certain medication, like Adderall, from being prescribed without an in-person visit. These rulings are currently not active, and there is no exact time when they will be reinstated.
Once the Ryan Haight Act is reinstated, new patients will need to have their first intake appointment done in person. After that, you’ll still get medication delivered conveniently to your door and have the ability to do followup appointments virtually, if you so choose.
What are the best companies for online ADHD diagnosis and treatment?
#1 - Cerebral
Cerebral has quickly established itself as a major player in the online ADHD treatment space. But this wasn’t always the case; they actually started out by treating patients for anxiety and depression. Rapid growth (evidently thanks to happy patients, over $1B in venture capital, and the continued buildout of a highly experienced medical staff) has enabled Cerebral to begin support for online ADHD treatment.
Cerebral is also unique in the flexibility of their plans, depending on whether or not you think you’d like working with a licensed therapist.
Remember that medication tackles ADHD from one angle, while behavioral therapy helps to retrain the way you think and behave. Finding a solution that combines the two, like Cerebral, typically leads to better outcomes.
Cerebral is one of the fastest-growing telehealth companies in the US, sometimes treating over 1,000 patients a day.
Cerebral currently supports the following states (or check their site for potentially more up-to-date info):
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- South Dakota
- Washington DC
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#2 – Done ADHD
If Cerebral doesn’t seem like a good fit for you, it’s worth checking out Done First. If you’ve previously been prescribed a stimulant-based medication, like Adderall, you’ll actually need to go with a company like Done. Our team has seen some really mixed reviews on them over the years, but when it comes down to it, they are one of only two prescribers that is still open to prescribing stimulants. And they’re reasonably affordable.
Done charges $199 for an initial consult, plus $79/mo for treatment. This includes the cost of medication, automatic refills (huge!), ongoing consultation, and more. Treatment can also be reimbursed, depending on your insurance.
Done First supports the following states:
- Washington D.C.
- North Carolina
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
#3 – Klarity ADHD
The new kid on the block. Klarity ADHD is one of the most reputable providers of online ADHD diagnosis and treatment. And while Cerebral responded to media backlash by discontinuing stimulant-based prescriptions, Klarity does still prescribe stimulants like Adderall (when it makes sense to do so).
Klarity ADHD also offers very reasonable pricing: just $150 for your first appointment, then $25/mo for the medication (or $59/mo if you’d like a monthly video visit).
Klarity is a very affordable option, but they don’t offer some of the same perks that Done does. You won’t get automatic prescription refills or ongoing support from your psychiatrist.
As a newer provider to the space, it is worth noting that Klarity’s care team is significantly smaller than their competitors (especially Cerebral). But if you’re somehow dead-set on giving stimulant-based ADHD medication a shot, Klarity is likely your best option.
Klarity operates in 25 states as of writing, but this list is growing pretty quickly. To see if your state is covered, get started on their intake survey and type the state you live in.
#4 – Ahead
If you live in the following states, we recommend you look into booking an appointment online with Ahead, the leading provider of online ADHD diagnosis and treatment. Not only are they a very affordable option, but they specialize in ADHD treatment, so you know you’re in good hands.
- New Mexico
- New York
- South Carolina
*These two states currently have Primary Care Physicians, not Psychiatric Specialists. In addition to treating mild to moderate ADHD, they’re also able to offer treatment beyond mental health.
Ahead is still expanding their operations (rapidly). But if you don’t see your state on the list above, and you really don’t want to wait a few months for them to be in your state, you still may be in luck.
We’re living in incredibly exciting times. I feel so blessed to have been able to work closely with so many amazing telemedicine and telehealth companies over the past ~18 months. As the pandemic took the world by storm and restricted the world to their homes, there has been a devastating effect on our mental psyche. And yet behind the scenes, these incredibly hard-working teams have been reimagining what the future of mental healthcare can (and should) look like.
I’ve watched from the sidelines as companies like Cerebral and Done work tirelessly to hire the best-of-the-best and open up as many physical clinics as possible, so they can expand operations and support as many patients as they can. And Ahead isn’t alone in this race; there are thousands of others looking to reshape the way patients are able to seek medical attention. I truly believe that these types of companies will continue to be the most convenient, cost-effective way to get treatment for years to come.
If you truly believe there’s a chance you suffer from ADHD, I highly recommend at least getting in touch with one of these companies to speak with one of their providers. ADHD is a devastating mental illness, but the decision to seek proper treatment is often a life-changing decision. I can attest to that first-hand.