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University of Chicago Department of Athletics & Recreation

Stimulant Use for Treating Medical Conditions (i.e. ADD, ADHD)

Do I need to tell my athletic trainer and athletic training staff about taking ADD/ADHD medication?
Yes. Proper documentation of the diagnosis, prescription medication, and follow-up care is mandated by the NCAA.


If I have been diagnosed and treated for ADD/ADHD before, what do I have to do now?
Contact your healthcare provider who was managing and caring for you regarding the ADD/ADHD. The athletic training staff requires all records of the ADD/ADHD assessment and history of treatment, including follow-up examinations. The athletic training staff will also require continual updated information from all of your future follow-up exams and copies of each prescription given.


What if I do not have records of an ADD/ADHD assessment, but have been prescribed and have taken/currently take medication for ADD/ADHD?
If you do not have records documenting testing and evaluation, you must undergo a comprehensive evaluation to establish a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD, regardless of previously taken or prescribed medication.


What if I have never been diagnosed or treated for ADD/ADHD and am going to initiate treatment now?
You must undergo a comprehensive evaluation to establish a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD before initiating treatment.


What is the diagnosis based on? Does it matter what doctor assesses the evaluation and diagnoses me?
Diagnosis is based on clinical evaluation. ADD/ADHD is a neurological disorder that should be assessed and managed by experienced mental health and primary care clinicians who have experience in the diagnosis and management of ADD/ADHD.


Do I just need to have the one evaluation? Are there any other appointments I need to make?
The NCAA requires, at minimum, yearly follow-up examinations for clinical evaluation. Documentation of each of those visits needs to be given to the athletic training staff to be placed in the student athlete's file.


What does the documentation from my healthcare provider have to include?
The NCAA mandates that the athletic training staff should have at least the following documentation on file:
- Description of the evaluation process which identifies the assessment tools and procedures.
- Statement of the Diagnosis, including when it was confirmed.
- History of ADD/ADHD treatment (previous/ongoing).
- Statement that a non-banned ADHD alternative has been considered if a stimulant is currently prescribed.
- Copy of the most recent prescription (as documented by the prescribing physician).
- Statement regarding follow-up and monitoring visits. Please see the attached forms for your healthcare provider to reference.


What if I am taking ADD/ADHD medication without a prescription? What if I do not give all or any of the proper documentation and still take my ADD/ADHD medication?
Most ADD/ADHD medication includes stimulants, which are banned under the NCAA. If the proper documentation is not on file and the student-athlete fails a drug test due to the ADD/ADHD medication, the athletic training staff will not be able to appeal for a medical exemption. The resulting punishment towards the student-athlete may include, but is not limited to, a suspension of 365 days from the date of the positive drug test.


Is there anything I can bring with me to my healthcare provider to make sure I bring all of the proper documentation?
Yes. Below is a Sample Evaluation Format provided by the NCAA that you may provide your physician. Also, see the Medical Clearance Forms for a guideline for the criteria for a letter from the prescribing physician.