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May 28, 2019 Asked and Answered

Amped Up: ADHD med abuse in the legal profession

By Stephanie Francis Ward

Some people diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder need prescription stimulants to function at the best of their abilities. But there are others who don’t have the diagnosis but take the medicine illegally because they think it will help them perform better.

It’s a problem that law schools and the legal profession need to become more aware of, says Patrick Krill, an attorney and licensed and board-certified alcohol and drug counselor.

It’s not uncommon to see law students take the pills during finals or while sitting for the bar exam, which probably is a sign that they are abusing the medicine, he tells the ABA Journal’s Stephanie Francis Ward. Taking stimulants like Adderall illegally often harms your executive function abilities, says Krill. You can also overdose on prescription stimulants.

In this episode of Asked and Answered, Krill talks about the extent of the issue, its prevalence in people under 40, and the dangers of illegal prescription stimulants.

Listen to the Podcast

In This Podcast:

Stephanie Francis Ward
Patrick Krill is the founder of Krill Strategies, a behavioral health consulting firm exclusively for the legal profession. Krill is an attorney, licensed and board-certified alcohol and drug counselor, author, advocate and thought leader. He is the former director of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s Legal Professionals Program. He is on the advisory committee to the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs. In 2017, he was also appointed to then-ABA President Hilarie Bass’s Working Group to Improve Lawyer Well-Being and is a member of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being.

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