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Ritalin And Army Enlistment


sixthscents

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Army physical standards are covered in AR 40-501... enlistment standards are covered in AR 601-210. I am addressing this because there was a question about enlistment policies concerning Ritalin. Initially, as far back as 1995, if you had taken Ritalin and were diagnosed with ADD you could not enlist without a waiver, and the waiver was almost impossible to get.

This policy changed in 2001 (imagine that!), and an enlistee was allowed to have taken Ritalin but could not have taken it for 6 months prior to the physical. They could have a diagnosis of ADD, but that required a waiver... but the waiver was automatic if the applicant had not taken Ritalin for 6 months and was released from doctors care. There was discussion of changing the time frame to 6 WEEKS prior but I dont think that was approved.

Thats was and is still the current policy on enlistment into the US Army with Ritalin, and ADD to my best knowlege. However I encourage anyone to look into 40-501 but please make sure you check the amendments... thats where all the changes will be. The same applies to 601-210... they havent changed the reg since 98 or so, they just keep amending it... maybe by now they have actually issued a completely updated reg.

The end answer being that the Army will allow enlistment of a person with a prior diagnosis of ADD. I have no idea about the standards for the other services and they very well may be VERY different.

This answer is posted in response to a request by tssnave, made on Sept 27...

Is there some regulation that says you can't be or have been on Ritalin and join the service? I find that interesting since the last stats I read on Ritalin (and other ADHD drugs for kids) was that 10% of our boys today are on Riatalin or like drugs. I did some research on ADHD drugs when they wanted to put one of our grandchildren on it and thankfully the parents decided against it when the docs said a 6 year old had to get a "base line EKG" before going on Ritalin because it can affect a child's heart.

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Bob,

Thanks for the info. Sorry for not replying sooner. I've been cycling again (spinning my bipolar wheels, not a bike or motorcycle).

Seems to me that the ADHD "standards" have fit the needs of the Army much like the weight control standards did when they were virtually non-existent in the Vietnam era and came into play in a big way in the late 70s/early 80s after Nam and before Iraq.

Thanks again,

TS

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Bob,

Thanks for the info. Sorry for not replying sooner. I've been cycling again (spinning my bipolar wheels, not a bike or motorcycle).

Seems to me that the ADHD "standards" have fit the needs of the Army much like the weight control standards did when they were virtually non-existent in the Vietnam era and came into play in a big way in the late 70s/early 80s after Nam and before Iraq.

Thanks again,

TS

I don't think they have re-wrote the Weight Control regulation I just think it is universally ignored at the present time. I was seperated under that program for being a pound and 1/4 overweight.

Lets see at the time you could:

Have significant alcoholic events up to 5 times before seperation was even considered.

Fail your piss test or have illegal drug related problems up to 3 times before mandatory seperation(unless NCO or Officer).

No limit to how many times you could fail your PT test(as long as you did remedial PT until you passed).

Unlimited consumption of tobacco regardless of the health and readiness consequences.

But your only allowed to be a fat man once(unless a war is on and we will galdly not enforce the reg)!!

Oh to be Fat like that again!!!!

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