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Attention Deficit Disorder

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  • Attention Deficit Disorder

    I have been faced with a dilemna. My 17 year old cousin is in the process of selecting colleges and he's is interested in being a law enforcement like me. The problem is that I know he has/or had ADD. I think he just takes Ritalin and he hasnt needed any special help at school or tutoring. I dont want to tell him to major in LE and then found out later that he can't get hired because he has or had this condition. I guess my question is what is the policy that LE agencies generally have regarding this if there is a policy at all?
    Don't Fight Fair!
    Fight To Win!

  • #2
    The question has never come up in any of the interviews I've had, BUT.....I've had military friends tell me that the various branches of the service will NOT accept recruits that have taken Ritalin. The reason being that it is considered to be a 'mind altering drug' and the long-term effects aren't yet known.
    "When you guys get home and face an anti-war protester, look him in the eyes and shake his hand. Then, wink at his girlfriend, because she knows she's dating a *****."
    -Commanding General, 1st Marine Division

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    • #3
      during my medical exam, the docs asked us if we were ever prescribed any meds and why. this is for NYPD, but im sure most other deptartments will ask the same question one way or another.

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      • #4
        All I can say is that I know a woman who has been on Ritalin for years and I sure wouldn't want her "serving and protecting" me.

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        • #5
          I don't know about LE agencies not taking someone for having been on Ritalin or not. I do know that the military does take people who have taken Ritalin! A patrolman that worked for me in the USN used to take Ritalin when he was a child and it was documented in his service record! He had no lasting effects from the Ritalin. I thought that he still needed to take it! He was very hyper! The guy could'nt sit still for a minute. The best thing to do is to ask a lawyer and even some local departmental chiefs this question! You may be surprised at the answers! I don't think that anything about Ritalin was on the medical examination forms and questionaire I filled out when I was hired! But, pose the question to some local chiefs and see what they say.

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          • #6
            Im not a LEO but I do have ADD and used to take Ritalin. So of course I cant advise as to if an agency should or should not take someone who takes Ritalin but I can give some general info. Like anything it really depends on the person. I stopped taking it because it made me feel sick and I lost my appetite. Some people say Ritalin makes a world of difference like if you were color blind and you could suddenly see color. I never felt it made that much of a difference to me. In college I just realized that I had to work a little harder because I would get distracted when studying for long periods of time. At least to me it does not seem like ADD would prevent you from doing your job but I am not a cop so other cops would be better qualified to answer. I would say tell him to go for it though if he really wants to be a cop. If his ADD is such a problem that it would prevent him from performing as a leo it seems as if this would be picked up in trainng or before he was let out on his own. But as I said Im not a leo so I dont know. Of course you dont want someone responsible for your and others saftey who would not be able to focus on the situation at hand. It really depends on the person and how much it effects their daily life.

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            • #7
              My daughter,40yrs old now, took ritalin between the ages of 7-16. She was a straight A student when taking it, without it she managed a C. Today she is still hyper and there is no way she could have been a PO, even on the drug. There were days when it wore off faster than others, so risking your life with a partner such as this is just plain dumb. Even today, she can be busy at one thing and decides to do something else. She is very intelligent, married, does well, but not dependable.
              Rose

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              • #8
                My son is ADD as am I. The ritalin helped David a lot in school but it was his decision to go of of it when they found his brain tumor. I thought that was a good decision.
                I have known I was ADD for a long time. But, I managed to marry, have a child and graduate from college without any meds. I guess when you have to, you do it.
                I think Ritalin can help those with ADD and ADDH (with hyperactivity) but, in my case, I learned ways around it, I guess. To me, that would always be the best way.
                But, I've worked with kids that NEED Ritalin.

                [ 09-02-2001: Message edited by: Mitzi ]

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