ADHD Medication Abuse On College Campus' - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

ADHD Medication Abuse On College Campus'

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FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) -

Studies estimate more than one-third of college students take Attention-Deficit drugs without a prescription.

Many claim the drugs help them focus, or give them extra energy to study during stressful times at school.

Dr. Ted Grace, Dir. of Student Health Services, for Southern Illinois University says, "These are unfortunate kind of barriers for those who need the treatment."

Studies document rampant misuse and abuse of ADHD medication on college campuses.

Schools are having a hard time keeping up with the demand and the expense for treatment and diagnosis.

In addition, they are concerned about medical liability, so many are taking up new policies.

Dr. Jerald Kay, with the American Psychiatry Association says, "Recently a number of campuses have announced that they will no longer prescribe stimulant medication for those students with Attention Deficit Disorder."

Those schools are leaving it to the student to get their meds back home or off-campus.

Other schools say they'll fill prescriptions, but won't do any diagnosing.

Dr. Ted Grace says, "They base it on the fact that it's been diagnosed in the past."

Still, other schools are making it much more difficult for students to get their hands on the drugs, even for those already diagnosed.

Students have to meet certain testing requirements, which often include signing a contract.

Dr. Ted Grace says, "It states they will notify us if they are prescribed medication by anyone else, if they are on any other addicting kinds of medication that wouldn't mix. They promise that they will not abuse any drugs. They promise not to share or sell their medications to roommates.  And importantly they promise to follow through with therapy."

The contract also gives consent for periodic random drug testing.

Dr. Ted Grace says, "If we think they may be coming in to get a prescription to sell it on the street that allows us the opportunity to determine that they're truly taking the medication."

But not everyone agrees these changes are all good.

Ruth Hughes heads up the advocacy group 'Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder'.

She's worried this stigmatizes students who need the drugs to succeed.

Dr. Hughes says, "We're making it harder and harder for them to have access to good treatment and to have support. You know, if somebody has asthma and has to take asthma medication every day or diabetes or high blood pressure, we wouldn't question their need for medication."

The medical facilitators argue colleges face a tough dilemma.

Dr. Ted Grace says, "We need to have these protocols in place, but believe me, our last resort is to turn down somebody we think has ADHD."

Fresno State reports no arrests have been made from students selling ADHD medication on campus.

 

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