Available treatments for ADHD

Hello, I’m going back to Taiwan soon and I’ve been on the fence about getting ADHD medication for a while. I haven’t gone to doctors in the States for it since the healthcare system is so expensive.

I’ve read previous threads about Ritalin and other stimulant drugs and their availability in Taiwan. From what I’ve seen, it’s all been either now-outdated information (from before Taiwan started cracking down on stimulant drugs and they were still available at pharmacies without prescriptions) or just contradicting information.

Does anyone have up-to-date and accurate information regarding seeing a psychiatrist and getting a prescription for either Ritalin or Concerta? (I know that Adderall is now illegal in Taiwan and so I won’t be able to get a prescription for that.) I’ve also seen posts that said either: 1. Taiwanese doctors push drugs instead of therapy, or 2. Taiwanese doctors fear drug dependency and it is very difficult to get a prescription.

I’m just trying to get a better and more accurate idea of how it all works and what I should expect when I go back and talk to a healthcare professional.

Hi @alphaeta and welcome!

There are a couple threads already on the subject. Here’s the most recent one, but you can check “ADHD” in the search bar above for others. I’m also ADD and you can read from my posts in the linked thread my thoughts on the matter (not a fan of pharmaceutical cures, personally), as well as what others have to say on the matter and availability of treatment/drugs. Good luck! I know it’s tough having a frequently misunderstood condition like ADD/ADHD in Taiwan where it’s especially unknown/dismissed, but others are in the same boat.


I did read that one already and while it did give me some food for thought concerning depending on drugs for dealing with ADHD/ADD, I really just need the facts concerning:

  1. Which hospitals are the best for psychiatric medicine,
  2. How easy it is to obtain a prescription (I don’t feel like spending all my time going from place to place trying to convince someone that I need the meds and then end up looking like a drug-seeker),
  3. Whether or not a doctor will even prescribe the medication or if I’ll be told that ADHD is a “child’s illness” or “fake” and I should just suck it up.

But thank you for your concern! I’m relatively new to the whole world of ADHD in the first place as I wasn’t diagnosed as a child. Knowing that there are others going through the same thing and succeeding regardless is very uplifting.

I wasn’t diagnosed as a kid as well, so when I went to seek help here a few years back, they made me sit through a number of tests and an interview with a psychiatrist. I waited about a month? two months, maybe? to get my diagnosis and a prescription. I was prescribed Wellbutrin which turned out to be pretty okay, especially in the winter when the seasonal depression set in haha However, I haven’t been on medication for about a year now? It fucked with my appetite so bad and I just really missed food, man :pensive:

All prescription psychiatric drugs require psychiatrist visit and prescription.
This is the best psychiatric hospital in Taipei. You will get quality psychiatric help when you arrive Taipei.


I’m not even going to be in Taiwan for that long, oh god haha.

Hello @alphaeta,

In Taiwan, doctors are more likely to prescribe you something even if it’s useless instead of therapy or behavioral treatment. I have ADHD, something I had since I was a kid. I would caution against ADHD medication, @DrewC would probably agree as well. I had such a bad experience, almost everyone I know who took it regret it in some way. My fraternity brother took it since he was a kid, and it stunted it growth.

IMO, the medication works. But the side effects are rough once you stay on it long enough. Especially once you build a tolerance. I lost so much weight, fat and muscle ate terribly, the sleeping pattern was off, and it probably also cause some chemical imbalance that gave me dression. I would stay away and learn to cope with behavioral adjustment.


I emphatically second this.

Had a prescription for it for a few years quite some time back…wow, so amazing at first! Look at how productive I am on little sleep, I’m cranking reports out at 10x the volume I normally do. My vertical jump is better in bball and even tho I’m 44 I’m running full court with 20 somethings again in hoops!

All good til the tolerance builds, then its weight loss, fatigue becomes the norm, mood swings, anxiety and tension, muscles atrophy. The lack of sleep it causes all kinds of issues once a tolerance is build is not worth the boost in productivity.

Plus If you drink alcohol on it it seriously fucks you up so can’t drink with buddies when you’re on it. I agree w/Andrew, it has benefits but it’s got so many negatives and can lead to massive depression as well.

Pills can take a real toll on your life and nearly cost me a job i was quite lucky to recover and rebuild, and did no good for my personal life either. I walked away from it.

Some manage better than thers and some can use it sparingly, but prob better avoided; there’s a reason they gave similar stuff to German soldiers in WWII when they were invading poland and they needed to stay awake for weeks…

Yeah, it was wonderful at first. It’s a really powerful drug, and definitely causes some euphoric effects that people end up abusing once they stay on long enough. I’ve taken it on a Friday night out drinking before. It’s not something you want to continue to do for years.