Universities modifying ADD prescription policies

July 29, 2013 4:55:04 PM PDT
Studies estimate more than one-third of college students take attention deficit drugs without a prescription, claiming they help them focus. Students often get the pills from their pals who have a prescription. But colleges are now cracking down on the swapping of stimulants.

What would you do if your doctor asked you to sign a contract the next time you were prescribed medication? Or what if you were required to submit to drug tests in order to get a prescription filled?

It's happening at some college clinics when students try to refill their ADHD drugs because studies show rampant misuse of the medication on college campuses.

One student, who asked that we not share his identity, explained he didn't get his prescription until his first year of college.

"I had a bunch of friends that were on them and I had taken some of theirs and that helped me," the student said.

So he asked a doctor to write him a prescription.

"'I've never sold them, but have given them away," the student said.

And that's a problem and many are starting new policies.

"Recently, a number of campuses have announced that they will no longer prescribe stimulant medication for those students with attention deficit disorder," said Jerald Kay with the American Psychiatry Association.

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 diagnose.

Some ask students to sign a contract.

"They promise not to share or sell their medications to roommates. And importantly they promise to follow through with therapy," said Dr. Ted Grace, director of Student Health SErvices at the Southern Illinois University.

The contract also gives consent for periodic random drug testing.

"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," Dr. Grace said.

Not everyone agrees these changes are all good.

"You know, if somebody has asthma and has to take asthma medication everyday or diabetes or high blood pressure, we wouldn't question their need for medication," said Dr. Ruth Guges with ChADD.org.

Some schools also consider the unauthorized use of the drugs as a form of cheating and failure to meet the schools honor code, meaning students could also face expulsion.

Find Christi on Facebook at ABC13-Christi Myers or on Twitter at @ChristiMyers13


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