ADD medication

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by etk401, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. etk401

    etk401 New Member

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    Hello all. My DS was dx as a junior in HS with ADD. It was recommended that he take short acting medication for focus, during times of need, example study periods and exams. My question is does this impact his contract opportunity? He is a non scholarship freshman AROTC. He does not take his medication, for fear of being disqualified, and his medical provider has not been able to get us any answers. Please help!
     
  2. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    ADD and many other behavioral diagnoses are not... what's the word... empirical. By that I mean there is no blood test or chemical or imaging test that can determine with certainty what is going on at the physical, chemical level in the brain. It's not like a broken bone, or asthma, or allergies, all of which can be measured with empirical tools.

    ADD, like many behavioral diagnosis (e.g. anxiety disorder, depression, borderline personality disorder), is an inferred illness. For example, the DSM IV, used by psychiatrists and psychologists, lists things like: does the patient report symptoms in at least five of the eight descriptions in the following list? The diagnoses is not based upon physical evidence, rather on patient self reporting, with diagnoses based upon the psychologist/psychiatrist cross referencing the reported behavior with the descriptive categories in the DSM. Which DSM illness most closely describes the pattern of behavior the patient self reports? In another fifty or so years we WILL be able to empirically measure what's going on in the brain, so that we will be able to describe which chemical/electrical processes within the patient's brain are on the outside boundaries of a normal distribution curve.

    OK, so why all that hu hah? Because your son may not have ADD. That is just a label chosen from the DSM to most closely match what your son self reported to the physician. In any case, based on numerous posts here over the past few years, here is what will likely occur:

    1) your son fills out a medical Questionnaire prior to contracting, on which he indicates he has taken ADD medication
    2) This automatically DQs your son
    3) Your son asks Cadre to appeal to DODMERB for a waiver, based on more than 18 months of non-medicated strong performance in school, ROTC and life. Cadre forwards this to Cadet Command, who forwards to DODMERB
    4) you wait for the decision.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    just a little correction on dunninla's post.

    DoDMERB does not have anything to do with granting waivers. All DoDMERB does is qualify or disqualify according to the regs set forth by the commissioning source, they have no voice other than that.
    ~ Caveat, the only time they can change it is if they are given a remedial. This is when DoDMERB says before we make a Q or DQ decision we want to see more records or send them for additional testing, but again this result of remedial will come down as an initial decision. A DQ is a DQ and it is out of their hands from that point.

    Commissioning sources decide whether or not to grant the waiver based on the DoDMERB results (traditionally the additional medical paperwork requested). IOWs AROTC will request the waiver, and they will send it to Command, where they will grant or deny it. They also do not have to request a waiver. This occurs if they feel the cadet/candidate is not deemed competitive, or it will impact their ability to do the mission in the military.
    ~DQs are not just about that person, it is about how it will impact others too. If you can't do the mission without medication taken on a daily basis, it impacts everyone.
    ~~~ Think about it like health insurance, they are accepting the fact that you have a pre-existing condition and they will now accept you for as long as you are in the military with that pre-existing condition.

    If I am reading your post correctly, currently your DS still has an active scrip for the meds., and in that case he would be automatically DQd.

    I do agree that ADD is often incorrectly diagnosed, but none of us have the OP as a patient, all we should do is remind them to consult a physician before stopping any medications that are prescription.

    As dunninla stated the way the reg is written is very specific. I can't recall the exact time frame that they must be off the meds. officially, but it is 12-24 months and their grades must be maintained at the same level they were at when on the medication.
    ~~~ JMPO, but I think it goes back to many being mis-diagnosed.

    If this was a concern for me, I would take him to the doc., and have him annotate in his records that he is no longer being prescribed any meds for ADD.
    ~ By doing so, he has true documentation proving the end date from a medical professional.

    My only concern would be that he is a freshmen, many kids find their grades dropping because that 1st yr of college for some that can be difficult as they adjust to collegiate life, especially if they are also trying to juggle academics with ROTC and social life.
    ~~~~ More so if he was correctly diagnosed with ADD. Stopping the meds can also result in academic probation. It is a catch 22 predicament for him. Stop the meds to be qualified, but grades drop too much and he will still be DQ. Stay on the meds to keep the grades up, but now will be DQ.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  4. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    One minor note...the Cadet is the one requesting the waiver, not the Battalion. The Cadet is responsible for getting the documentation and making the case. Hopefully the Battalion supports the request and helps prepare the documentation and the PMS checks the "recommend approval" block. In most cases at my Battalion I prepare the request for Cadet Action for the Cadet, but the Cadet has to get all the documentation from the Doctors. I can usually retrieve transcripts and write a letter of recommendation.
    http://goldenknightbattalion.wordpress.com/2011/04/15/dodmerb-part-3-my-head-hurts-my-feet-stink/
     
  5. etk401

    etk401 New Member

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    Thanks for your responses. To clarify DS has not had a prescription since 2012 and does not take any meds at this time. His fear has been of disqualification. I guess he doesn't need meds, as he seems to be doing well without. The Dr that we took him to as a Soph in HS , when he was struggling with his environment, and grades, did not dx ADD, but instead labeled him as a " over thinker", who would do better in a different learning environment. He transferred to a North east boarding school, did very well, and is now in a LAC in Pa, again doing so far, so good. She wrote him a prescription for adderal for use as needed.Since no meds in a year, is it necessary to mention it? Am I making this more complicated then it needs to be? Thank you
     
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Yes, and perhaps yes. Everything needs to be disclosed. Since ADD wasn't diagnosed there is no need to mention that but you will need to mention the med and "whatever" the diagnosis was. Not doing so will come back and bite DS sooner or later.

    Being off the meds for a year or more, and doing well, will work in his favor. That is not to say there won't be a disqualification and perhaps (or perhaps not) a waiver. There may be an issue, there may not.

    BTW, this is not about your DS although I know it feels that way. This is about the safety of the men and women he may lead in combat one day. That, in part at least, is the reason for these assessments.

    Hoping everything goes smoothly for him and there are no issues. :thumb:
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree with kinnem, you must disclose the medication.

    I would actually look at his medical records, because I can't believe a doc prescribed adderall for an over thinking diagnosis.
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I agree. It's possible the doc used "overthinking" as a euphemism for something else.

    Edit: I would add that this might be worth a post over on the DoDMERB threads. We're just parents with some (limited) experience here. You might get better and more detailed information over there. The more info you can give them the better answer they can give you.
     
  9. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    http://www.uab.edu/armyrotc/images/dd2492_dodmerb_medical_history_form.pdf

    How your son answers questions 22, 23, 77, 78 will be important. Whether he considers the visits to the physician to address what you characterize as "possible ADD" to require an affirmative answer into any of those four questions will probably determine whether a waiver will need to be requested. I can foresee reasonable and honest answers to be both yes and no from the limited information you provided.

    This takes me back to my first post above regarding the uncertain aspects of some mental disorder diagnoses. Did/does he have ADD? How do you know with certainty? A question with only two possible answers, yes or no, requires certainty, not speculation or probability.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I just want to add the reason I stated get a look at the records, because DoDMERB may decide to give him a remedial first, this process typically will request additional medical records, such as his private records, or to go to one of their docs for additional testing. Thus, if it is officially in his medical history records as ADD, they will see it anyway.

    The one thing to be aware of is his doc may now not release those records now because he is 20, and that would mean he would be the person that needs to get his records from the docs.
     
  11. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    +1 to dunninla. I expect the OP is probably feeling put upon at this point but I hope it's understood that we're all trying to be helpful and hopefully clarify things and their importance here.

    I once knew an ROTC applicant who had been ticketed for marijuana possession. In answer to the question "Have you been arrested?" this kid wanted to answer "Yes". I had to explain to him that "No! No! No! You were not arrested, you were ticketed." It finally got through.

    I suppose this story is perhaps a poor example, but take care when answering the questions. Answer honestly and fully to the best of your ability, but also weigh what you're really being asked.
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I think you are correct kinnem that this might be akin to looking down a barrel for the OP.

    We truly do not mean to scare or off put anyone, it is just the longer you are here the more you can say, it is never clear cut when it comes to DoDMERB.
    ~ I.E. Our friend's DD was a national TKD champion, even went to Korea for 3 months one summer (Fresh to soph college) to train there with an Olympic master.

    She was AFROTC non-scholarship, when she went up for her DoDMERB exam as a sophomore she was considered remedial/DQ because back when she was 14 she was prescribed an inhaler for asthma (had pneumonia). The doc kept prescribing it for yrs. and the family thought nothing of it because she was in TKD (state, national and Jr. Olympic champ), but erred on safety from a medical perspective and kept re-filling it. Lo and behold yrs later it created a DQ.

    The point is DoDMERB went by the regs., it was when they dug into her records and saw the reason why she was originally prescribed, and her insane aerobic activity competing in TKD as a black belt, that it really wasn't a DQ issue afterall.

    It truly is a case by case scenario when it comes to remedials and DQ waivers. Not just based on the candidate, but hate to see it the needs of the military. If they have enough qualified candidates waivers are offered less than when they need more manpower.

    kinnem,

    You were correct to say what you did about ticketed compared to arrested, but I hope you also explained that in a few yrs when they go through TS clearance, if they get a position that requires TS, that this issue is going to come back and rear its' ugly head again!

    It will be asked every which way from Sunday not only for hmi, but his references too. If he did not place on his DoDMERB yes for marijuana and how many times/frequency, it can hit him 2x as hard for lying on the DoDMERB.
    ~~~ There was a poster here that stated they placed 1x on the DoDMERB, but as a sophomore decided to come clean, and say it was 3x. He was dis-enrolled from AFROTC. Not because it was 3x per se, but because the number changed from the DoDMERB, thus they lied!
     
  13. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    Legal mumbo jumbo

    In regards to Kinnem's advice:

    When my son applied he had a traffic ticket on his record. He wondered whether that would technically be considered an arrest. We inquired and were told that it could mean to take into custody and it could also mean to stop or check. We decided to list the infraction and explain it in the designated area on the form.

    As for ticketed for marijuana possession... to omit something like that would be to tread on dangerous ground.
     
  14. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Oh, the applicant properly disclosed everything and a waiver was required. My point was answering yes to arrested was not the correct answer. Instead everything was explained elsewhere as maplerock indicated - under drug use, not arrest. The point was about weighing the words for a specific question. It can make a difference. I always advocate full disclosure and seeing how the cards fall. There is no other way to approach it as far as I'm concerned, for exactly the reasons Pima indicated. Eventually, any lack of full honesty will come back to bite you.
     
  15. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    My point in the my last post was that OP's son may or may not be able to answer with certainty any of the four questions from form DD Form 2492. I propose he has good reason to answer no to all four questions.

    If, as I might given those faces, OP's son has concluded from the evidence that he does not after all have ADD as evidenced by good performance in school and life without the need for ADD medication, then one can conclude with all integrity and honesty that he does not have ADD. If he doesn't have ADD, then the answer to none of the four questions I listed from form 2492 should be answered with "yes". If OP does not answer "yes" to any of the four questions, then at some later point, such as the TS clearance, when Dr. records are reviewed, and OP is questioned, OP will explain that there was a possibility he had ADD, and he proved he didn't by functioning well without ADD medication. He will further explain that there was therefore no honest way he could have answered Yes to any of the four questions.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013

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