Miami University has taken these criticisms to heart and has created a new policy in which any student that seeks ADHD meds is required to do the following first:
(1) Students at Miami University who seek medication for ADHD must first go through an initial phone screen.
(2) They then attend a “brain booster” workshop, which lasts for 90 minutes. At the workshop, they receive a planner to help them organize their time, and are instructed in how to use it. They receive tips about time management, such as using their cell phone to keep track of appointments.
(3) Students are told how to improve their sleep, hygiene, minimize distractions, and improve their study skills and reduce procrastination. Italics are mine. Sleep problems cause so many other issues. People with sleeping problems are more likely to have physical or mental health problems, and vice versa.
(4) Several weeks after attending the workshop, students fill out a goal completion worksheet to demonstrate how well they have adopted the skills and behaviors they learned.
(5) If they decide to go ahead with an evaluation for ADHD, they attend another hour-long workshop, which is required even for students who have been prescribed ADHD medication in the past. They learn how to keep their medications safe in a college setting, and avoid misusing or diverting them. Only after they have attended both workshops can they see Dr. Hersh. “We slow down the process to screen out the people who just want a quick fix,” he explained.
It’s a fantastic process and I applaud them. I hope more schools follow suit.