Dr. Steven Zuchowski
Q: On average, how many patients do you see who are seeking help for ADHD?
A: “In a given week, in an average week, I would say probably 3or 4 per week.”
RENO, NV – This full time college student points out her favorite kind of psychostimulant drug, Vyvanse. She has been taking various kinds of psychostimulants since she was diagnosed in high school at the age of 17. CREDIT: Nate Eng
Q: How many of those patients actually have ADHD?
A: “I would say about half turn out to have ADHD.”
Q: Is it fairly easy for students to attain prescription stimulants at the school’s Health Center?
A: “At UNR we have a policy that says they have to have formal testing. And the testing involves about 8 hours or so of a whole variety of psychological tests, some of which directly test their attention and their hard to think. In other words, there’s a checklist you can see on the internet, you can look them up easy enough, and all you have to say is yes. It’s not real hard to pretend that. But we have some of these tests that directly test attention and if a person just isn’t trying it will detect that usually. So in other words, if a person says if I don’t try hard then I’ll come up with a high score and justify stimulants. So, at UNR everybody gets the full battery test. Now there’s exceptions to that… someone who had the full battery test when they were 8 or 10 years old and have been on prescription since then.”
RENO, NV –Vyvanse(left,blue) and Adderall (right,orange) pills spill out onto the counter top in the home of a full time college student. This college student illegally sells her extra pills as a source of side income. CREDIT: Nate Eng
Q: Have patients come into your office demanding a specific prescription?
A: “That’s extremely rare. I’ve been doing this for 15 years and I’ve had one or 2 people in my whole 15 years who I thought were kind of being pushy about it and not wanting to hear what my opinion was. They wanted the prescription and they wanted it now.”
Q: How many students do you think are taking stimulants at the University of Nevada, Reno?
A: “From what I hear from students, it’s more even more, more like maybe 50 percent would kind of, what I kind of hear just informally from students saying well yeah it seems like a lot of people are taking some degree of stimulants.”
Q: Do you think students are attaining prescription stimulants to sell and make a profit?
A: “I believe that the majority of people I’m treating really benefit and I hear things from them. I think it would be surprising if somebody was a pure faker, somebody who said ‘I’m going to go in and make a business out of this.’”