It turns out you don’t need to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in order to get the prescription drugs that treat it – you just have to know how to fake it.
A new study released in the journal Psychological Assessment has found that the initial self-report checklists used for ADHD diagnoses are actually quite easily faked by anyone who has a basic knowledge of the disorder.
Since Adderall and Ritalin abuse is quite common on college campuses and kids these days are quite adept at Googling things, this poses a problem for medical professionals. And while the study did show that follow-up tests were a bit more successful at weeding out feigned cases, they still weren’t hacker-proof.
Researchers are now looking into ways to improve screening for the disorder so that prescription drugs don’t wind up in the wrong hands. Unfortunately, while the problem has been recognized, the study’s authors aren’t optimistic that detecting ADHD-imposters will drastically improve. (via The Chronicle of Higher Education)