Make It in the Big Leagues

Books? Check! Schedule? Check! Strategy for managing your ADHD meds at college? …Check out these tips so you can check that off your list.

ADHD Meds at College
ADHD Meds at College

As an ADD/ADHD college student, you’re responsible for managing meds on your own. Keep these steps in mind as you come up with a master plan.

1) Decide which doctor you’ll use to manage your medication. If your pediatrician has been managing your medication, or if you are attending an out-of-state college, transfer your care locally. Some college health centers will take over managing ADHD medication, but they may require that you provide a current full evaluation diagnosing the condition.

2) The demands for paying attention escalate in college. Sometimes students discover they need to change their dosage schedule or the medication. Before classes start, meet with your doctor regarding your medical needs to develop a college-level medication strategy.

3) Design a strategy to remember to take medication and to refill your prescriptions. Some students practice managing their medication before attending college, but most have to develop these skills immediately. Watches, apps, and smartphones with alarms can help you. When selecting a pharmacy, ask if they have reminder systems. Consider working with a coach or advisor to practice making this call.

4) Think about a fail-proof plan to store medication. Is there a locked file cabinet in your desk or dresser? What if your backpack gets misplaced? If you lose your stimulant, most doctors won’t automatically give you more because it is a controlled substance. Talk with your parents or physician to create a medication storage plan.

THERESA MAITLAND, Ph.D., is the coordinator of the Academic Success Program for Students with LD/ADHD: A Learning Center Program at the University of North Carolina.

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