The celebrity doctor speaks with WTOP on the overdiagnosis of ADHD and the effectiveness of the drugs that combat it, as well as a new website and app that helps patients set up house calls.
Dr. Drew Pinsky is a familiar face in the reality television sphere. The celebrity doctor has built a media career over the past decade by advising people of all ages on TV shows such as MTV’s “Teen Mom” and VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab” while also hosting numerous radio programs and writing New York Times best-sellers. Now, Drew is bringing health care into people’s homes.
‘I don’t understand why people aren’t using this exclusively’
Drew has teamed up with Heal.com, a website and app that allows you to book an appointment for a doctor to come to your home for care. He called it a much better alternative to using resources that are “expensive, cumbersome and time-consuming.”
He added, “People go to ER’s and urgent care, and when you do that, you’re not only wasting your time; you are paying for all that personnel, all that equipment. That’s being paid for by your visit. That’s unnecessary.”
Last week, NBC Washington reported on college students taking ADHD drugs illegally in order to prepare for exams. “Smart drugs” such as Adderall are known to improve mental function, but can they be dangerous and addictive even if prescribed?
Drew said that when ADHD is properly diagnosed, medications such as Adderall, Ritalin and Vyvanse can be effective. However, he went on to criticize the “overdiagnosing” of ADHD and agreed there is a problem with kids abusing the medications.
So if a parent is worried about exposing their child to one of these drugs, what is the best course of action?
He suggested formal neuropsychiatric testing to ensure that a child’s symptoms really are evidence of ADHD. “I can’t tell you how often I’ve seen it misdiagnosed … it ends up being an anxiety disorder or some other condition other than ADHD.” He went on to add how if he were the Heal Doctor on a personalized visit, “I would not be prescribing [those medications] on a single Heal visit, no way”
Heal is available in the D.C. and Northern Virginia area. Medicare and most major insurance companies will cover it.
Listen to the full conversation between Chris and Dr. Drew: