ADD/ADHD Health Information

ADD/ ADHD is a complex condition and is not the same for every individual. Usually the providers at UNC-A student health assist with multi- factor care for ADD/ ADHD but do not prescribe controlled substances for treatment.

Some students have been taking medication before they arrive at UNCA. We ask that students bring three months of medication when they arrive in August. See FAQ below. Some students have questions about focus and inattention and see us for evaluation. For a new start on medication for ADD/ADHD, see FAQ below.

For more information on UNC Asheville's Health & Counseling policy and student responsibilities click here.

 

What is ADD/ADHD?

Attentions Deficit Disorder/ Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a complex diagnosis that changes as a person ages from early to late tens and  into the twenties. As such the diagnosis should not be made  in a brief visit.

We want students to have resources and accurate understanding of their learning style and conditions. The best way to understand ADHD is to get formal testing. For college students, testing after age 17 is most useful. Sometimes the difficulty with focus is combined with a learning style such a processing disorders or dyslexia. Testing sorts out emotional health issues, concentration, hearing, visual ,and verbal processing conditions.

What if a student comes to UNC-Asheville with a previous diagnosis of ADD/ADHD?

There is no national standard for deciding when to treat ADD/ADHD. Individual treatment decisions are most commonly a joint effort with a Primary Care Provider, family, and high school officials. As a student grows and matures, ADD/ADHD as a condition or learning style, can fade. The brain learns new techniques for focusing attention.

Some people retain their ADD/ADHD past age 16-17, but 40-90% of people grow out of it. If a student still has ADD/ADHD when they are attending college, testing after age 17 is the best tool for supporting that student. UNC-A will not be able to prescribe ADD/ADHD medication for students who have not been tested after age 17. We recommend that students bring 3 months of medication with them when they arrive in August.

Most home Primary Care Providers will be able to write prescriptions during visits to home such as Fall break, Winter break, Spring break and Summer break. The providers and Medical Director at UNC-A can help a student negotiate prescription planning.

What if a student suspects ADD/ADHD after they start attending UNCA?

The providers at Health and Counseling can assist the student with diagnosis of this condition. We have referral sites for testing and can help figure out insurance costs and fee options. Testing usually takes 2-3 visits so the process can take several weeks and depends upon the student choosing available times.

Is medication the only way to treat ADD/ADHD?

Most students use several tools to support the condition of ADD/ADHD. Some tools include counseling for ADD, self-help resources,  classroom accommodations, medication, treatment of other conditions that affect focus, and project management tools such as executive functions. UNC-A has resources and support for each of these tools.

What if a student runs out of medication during the semester?

We are happy to see a student who takes medication for ADD/ADHD. We do not prescribe medication at Health and Counseling, unless we have documentation of testing after age 17 by a licensed professional.

Family doctors, therapists, social workers, and  clinical psychologists can all get the training and get certified to give the testing. We would require the test results as documentation and are happy to answer questions about what documents we require. We accept any formal testing (after age 17) from any State.

We can help find alternatives to the medication and augment the non- pharmacological support, as well as evaluate for other conditions that affect focus on academic work, such as emotional health, fatigue, nutrition, or medical disorders.

Does Health and Counseling have a pharmacy?

The Health and Counseling Center has a small dispensary but no controlled substances such a medication that treats ADD/ADHD. The dispensary has some flu and allergy medication, a few antibiotics, and other non- controlled medication. There is a small fee for any medication dispensed from Health and Counseling Center. And there are low cost non-prescription medications, for several conditions.

What does it cost to see Health and Counseling for ADD/ADHD conditions?

Your student health fee covers your offices visits at the Health and Counseling. Any student can call and make an appointment. Student insurance or private insurance is for off campus visits; Health and Counseling has no co-pay or additional visit fee.