ADHD Diagnosis Faces New Scrutiny

Fresno State University in Freso, California is implementing tighter restrictions on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis and treatment.  Students requesting the diagnosis and the associated stimulant drugs must now submit to two months of testing before being considered for diagnosis.  Securing the diagnosis is just the first step.  If found to suffer from the disorder, students must sign a contract requiring them to submit to regular psychiatric visits, drug testing, and not to share their medications.

The new, strict requirements are a result of what health professionals largely see as too liberal diagnosis and rampant stimulant use.  According to a 2008 study, as many as 35 percent of college students illicitly take the stimulant drugs meant to treat ADHD.  A 2013 study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that as many as 20% of high school age boys are receiving the diagnosis; Southern states have the highest rate of diagnosis.

The increased level of diagnosis is seen as a mixed bag.  Some health professionals support the numbers saying that the disorder is finally receiving the attention it deserves.  Others look at the prevalence and worry that students are just looking for a pill to improve grades.

Read more about this topic at the New York Times:

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