The New York Times (5/1, A10, Schwarz, Subscription Publication) reports that “dozens of colleges [are] tightening the rules on the diagnosis of” attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) “and the subsequent prescription of amphetamine-based medications” to treat it. “Some schools are reconsidering how their student health offices handle AD/HD, and even if they should at all. Various studies have estimated that as many as 35 percent of college students illicitly take these stimulants to provide jolts of focus and drive during finals and other periods of heavy stress.”
Lawsuit Filed Against Harvard Spotlights Issues Involving AD/HD Diagnosis. In a related story, the New York Times (5/1, A12, Schwarz, Subscription Publication) reports that a lawsuit filed against Harvard University “provides rare detail on the issues involving a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder [AD/HD] from a student-health department.” The case centers around a rising sophomore who had been prescribed a medication for AD/HD “after a single examination at Harvard University Health Services.” The young man went on to commit suicide about half a year later after he received a prescription for antidepressants. The father of the victim “contends, among other accusations, that his son had never had AD/HD and that Harvard’s original diagnostic procedure, and subsequent prescriptions for Adderall [amphetamine mixed salts], did not meet medical standards.”
— “Attention-Deficit Drugs Face New Campus Rules, “Alan Schwarz, The New York Times, April 30, 2013.