Psychiatrists: ADHD meds don’t aid players who don’t need them

Is There An ADHD Epidemic in Major League Baseball?

Professional athletes will look for any edge, they said, and only those who truly require ADHD medication in order to properly function should be permitted to take it. Moreover, Dr. Hallowell added, Ritalin, Adderall and similar drugs do not produce a super-focusing effect for people without ADHD. Those drugs work by altering the brain’s chemistry. According to Dr. Hallowell, if a ballplayer’s brain chemistry doesn’t “need” altering, then he’s more likely to experience the unpleasant side effects of the drugs—like elevated heart rate, elevated blood pressure, insomnia and weight loss—and none of the benefits.

In the end, Dr. Tuckman noted, “when ADHD is appropriately diagnosed and the medication is appropriately prescribed and taken, it doesn’t give someone with ADHD an edge any more than giving contact lenses to someone who is far-sighted.”

The NFLPA has quite a bit on its plate at the moment; but once they get past the Saints bounty scandal, we hope they'll turn some of their attention to the Ginger Hammer's inconsistently levied and often heavyhanded penalties for ADHD medication use.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM