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Ritalin and Military Service?

This is a discussion on Ritalin and Military Service? within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; I read that if you take Ritalin, antipsychotic medications or meds for ADD/ADHD, you can't serve in the military. Is ...


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Old April 24th, 2009   #1
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Ritalin and Military Service?

I read that if you take Ritalin, antipsychotic medications or meds for ADD/ADHD, you can't serve in the military. Is this true? And if so, what are the possible implications behind it? Could a large portion of the 'Learning Disability' generation, who were put on these drugs for no good reason be denied service? Is it possible that this will leave us with a substantially smaller military within the next decade or two?
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Old April 26th, 2009   #2
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I planned to join RAF as an intelligence analyst. However i read if you had have or had a skin problem then you cannot join. I have a skin problem, no way I can hide it unless I go steam room every week and peel off flaking skin. My point is they are very strict, I would assume they would bar people from service if they were prescribed drugs for mental health issues.
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Old April 28th, 2009   #3
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Originally Posted by swampfox View Post
I read that if you take Ritalin, antipsychotic medications or meds for ADD/ADHD, you can't serve in the military. Is this true? And if so, what are the possible implications behind it? Could a large portion of the 'Learning Disability' generation, who were put on these drugs for no good reason be denied service? Is it possible that this will leave us with a substantially smaller military within the next decade or two?
I assume your talking about the US military? If you are taking Ritalin that is a disqualifier from service end of story. If you "took" Ritalin, it may or may not be a show stopper depending on certain variables (age last taken, period of time taken etc). The implications are it is a nasty drug with lasting psychological side affects which could make such a person a hazard to themselves and others. While such a person could function normally in the military during peace time and so forth the psycholgical aspects of combat manifest all sorts of unknowns. I believe they view the past use of psychotropics and the like as a ticking time bomb for individuals that go through the psychological stress of miltiary service which is quite unlike the day to day life of a civlian. So I don't think the disqualification is "for no good reason".

Also note that ADD/ADHD are considered psychological disorders. Personally I think ADD is bunk and Ritalin was and is a crutch for lazy parents.

Lastly, some recruiters will tell you that if your dumb enough to disclose something that they have no way of confirming, you are too dumb to carry a loaded weapon anyway. It's like Catch 22, only a sane person would admit that they were crazy, if they were in fact crazy.
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Old April 28th, 2009   #4
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RE: Gremlin29

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So I don't think the disqualification is "for no good reason".
When I said for no good reason, I was referring to the reasons for being on Ritalin. When ADD and ADHD were becoming widely known a few years back, people scrambled to put their six-year-old kids on it because they couldn't sit still (like any other six year old). I'm sure there are implications behind these drugs being used that would give the military (yes, I was talking about the US) to deny service.
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Old April 28th, 2009   #5
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I was referring to the reasons for being on Ritalin
I need to brush up on my reading comprehension skills, my apologies.

It's a shame so many potential military careers were ruined by bad parenting. Anyway you can get a waiver but like all waivers some career fields are non-waiverable types limiting total potential.
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Old January 26th, 2011   #6
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Thumbs down You are completely unqualified to comment

LT you have no idea of what you speak. I HAVE ADD myself, following a 12 year career in the Army and after 30 years struggling with the disorder, Adderall is a Godsend. My son has it as well. I wonder, at your tender age, if you have ever been a parent of a teenager who is failing in school and unable to pay attention in class.

I suspect your parents' poor parenting resulted in your own complete lack of empathy. Don't comment on subjects on which you are not informed.

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I need to brush up on my reading comprehension skills, my apologies.

It's a shame so many potential military careers were ruined by bad parenting. Anyway you can get a waiver but like all waivers some career fields are non-waiverable types limiting total potential.
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Old January 27th, 2011   #7
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LT you have no idea of what you speak. I HAVE ADD myself, following a 12 year career in the Army and after 30 years struggling with the disorder, Adderall is a Godsend. My son has it as well. I wonder, at your tender age, if you have ever been a parent of a teenager who is failing in school and unable to pay attention in class.

I suspect your parents' poor parenting resulted in your own complete lack of empathy. Don't comment on subjects on which you are not informed.

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CPT K, I was painting with broad strokes. To answer your question specifically, yes at my tender age of 47 years I did have a teenage son struggle through high school and Ritalin was recommended. My wife and I decided against it, stayed on him like a tick and he made it through. He even managed to complete a 4 year airborne infantry enlistment. I'm just about to complete my 21st year as an aviation warrant so there is some basis for my beliefs.

I have all the empathy in the world and I'm glad that Adderall is making a huge positive impact in your life. I'm not saying these drugs are the mark of a bad parent, I'm saying they like many other drugs have been abused by the medical profession and do have a negative impact on people that didn't necessarily need them.
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Old January 27th, 2011   #8
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Nothing cures ADD/ADHD like a good case of beating from your parents. Your mother's broom stick or your father's palm gets your attention real quick. They said I was a suspected case early in my chilhood. Coming from a Chinese family, I was getting beat at a fairly regular basis. Not saying that is the way to correct your kids' behavioural patterns, but I was considered a decent student by the time of high school.

When I went for my medical examination to join the CF reserve, I knew two persons in the group of candidates that did not make it past that because of psychological problems. One I believe had FAS/FASD and the other had ADD/ADHD. It seems to be a death sentence for military career here in Canada as well.
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