We do not do evaluations or make any new diagnoses of ADD or ADHD at Care Practice. We only manage a select number of patients with well-established diagnosis and longstanding established treatment plans.
We have a remarkable number of patients that meet criteria for ADHD or were diagnosed as children with the vast majority deciding not to use medication options prior to entering our clinic.
In general, people fall into two camps. One is 'medicate everyone' and the other is 'the drug companies are evil'. We are one of those rare places where we don’t fit any pattern.
The idea of pushing a rigid medication doctrine on our patients has always struck us as ridiculous—especially when many of these same patients who were diagnosed as children have gone on to achieve great success as artists, musicians, dancers, professional athletes, authors, and leaders of some of the largest tech companies in the Bay Area. We were not dismissing the diagnosis or the difficulties patients who carry this diagnosis face. We don’t disregard the help stimulants might have played in many of the early lives of our most successful patients. We are just part of the growing group of health care professionals with serious reservations about the diagnostic criteria used for the disorder and the alarming rise in use of medications to treat it.
Due to several factors including location, Care Practice has one of the highest concentrations of patients having been diagnosed with ADHD of any clinic in the United States. If you are a patient taking amphetamines erratically when you feel like it or just want them in order to crank out code or power through a large work project then neither faction of ADHD professionals thinks you have a good plan.
That is exactly the wrong use these medications and unfortunately one of the major reasons for its requested use in the Bay Area. Consistency in taking these kinds of medications and combining them with regular habits like exercise is vital to them being most effective. Long-acting versions of the drugs are something we believe strongly in.
We are accepting new patients that wish to gain insight into their brain through a comprehensive evaluation and deep personalized work with the doctor. But patients that come in with all requests and no questions would do better to find one of the many doctors writing these prescriptions without discussion or reservation for $300 a visit.
- Aaron Blackledge M.D.