Is it OK to share my ADD medicines?

Don't end up like this guy!

ADD medicine

Q:  Is it OK to give my friend one of my ADD pills to help him study for a test?

A:  Before we answer that question, let me ask you another one.  Would you sell that pill to a stranger for $50?  I’m guessing – hoping – your answer is an emphatic “NO.”  Well, from a legal point of view, these two questions are identical.

Most ADD medications (such as Concerta, Ritalin, Adderall, Focalin, Metadate, Methylin, and Daytrana) are Schedule II controlled substances because of their serious side effects and potential for addiction.  They are monitored very closely by doctors, pharmacists, and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).  We’re not lawyers here at Student Health, but we do know that… 

It is a violation of Section 2925.03 of the Ohio Revised Code (Ohio law) to sell another person a controlled substance.  The important thing to remember here is that the legal definition of “sell” includes “delivery, barter, exchange, transfer, or gift…”  

So even if you are just trying to help out your friend – and getting nothing in exchange for it – you are breaking the law.  And we’re not talking about a speeding ticket here.  You are committing a 4th degree felony, which is punishable by 6-18 months in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.  And assuming you are anywhere on or near campus, the felony gets bumped up to 3rd degree and you’re looking at 1-5 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.  Not to mention the fact that you could lose your financial aid and/or get kicked out of school.  

Now granted, the odds of someone busting into your dorm room and catching you in the act are very slim.  And unless you really don’t get along with your roommates or neighbors, odds are no one is going to turn you in.  But forget about the legal stuff for a minute.

  1. These medications are addictive and there’s a real chance your friend could get hooked on this stuff.  You don’t want to risk sending someone down that dark road.
  2. While these medications have a calming effect on people with ADD, they are actually central nervous system stimulants so in addition to things like headache, insomnia, anorexia, agitation, anxiety, tremors, vertigo, depression, and nervousness, they can cause life-threatening problems like heart attacks, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and heart arrhythmias.  Doctors evaluate people for these conditions prior to starting these medications and monitor them closely while they’re taking them.  Without knowing your friend’s health history, you could literally be putting his life at risk – and no test is worth that much. 

Managing your health is a serious responsibility and that’s especially true if you have ADD.  If you’re taking one of these medications, the best thing to do is keep it to yourself – if no one knows you have the pills, they won’t be able to ask you for one.  And if you have a friend who is taking these medicines, don’t pressure them into giving you one.  It’s more likely to hurt you than help you, and it’ll just put everyone at risk for serious trouble. 

If you have any questions about these or other medications you may be taking, the staff of Student Health Services pharmacy is always available to help!

Jason Goodman, PharmD, RPh (OSU SHS)

Just in time for Halloween – ZOMBIE PANDEMIC


Dead Alive

Night of the Living Dead

Cemetery Man

These classic movies and other zombie offerings on TV, in books, and in other media, all have the potential of making us scared to go out at night.  Sure, these are flights of literary fancy, or are they?  Is that your friend, your suitemate, your neighbor, or SOMETHING ELSE?????

The horror motif can certainly get us thinking.  That’s why the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention brings us another episode of their Zombie stories, this time in the novella “Zombie Pandemic“.   Our heroes, Julie and Todd, and Max the dog, discover a street full of zombies in their neighborhood.  What do they do?  Are they prepared to survive the night? 

As you sit in Thompson reading this, just think:

  • Would you know where to go if Thompson and the Oval were being evacuated in a weather emergency?
  • Would you be able to stay in contact with family and other supports if your cell was dead or the cell networks were down?
  • If there was an outbreak of illness on campus and you found your roommate sick in their bed, would you know where to advise them to get help?

Being prepared means having some basic equipment for emergency situations, but also thinking through the possible answers to all those “what would you do…” questions.  The CDC has even published a personal checklist for you to use to get ready.

Tornados, man-made threats, virus outbreaks, all of these are far more likely than a zombie pandemic.  I mean, unless you start noticing the…..slow…..movements…..and the slurrrrrrrred……….speeeeech……and…….AAAARRRRGGGGH!!!!!!!!

Be prepared.  You’ll sleep better.

Roger Miller, MD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University

Book your flight, then book your travel visit with us!

The Wilce Student Health Center

Get your vaccination

Gorakhpur, India

Thinking of a trip out of the country during Winter or Spring Break?  Perhaps next summer?  Planning for a Education Abroad experience? Student Health Services offers visits for students traveling outside the United States.

By appointment: Call 614.292.4321 to schedule.  Be prepared with your travel dates and the countries you plan to visit when you call.

What to expect

  • Review of vaccination requirements and recommendations for updating your current immunizations.
  • Travel recommendations based on current health and safety precautions
  • Vaccinations can be initiated at the time of the initial consult/travel assessment


There is a nominal travel visit fee at Student Health Services.  There are also fees for immunizations, lab tests, medications, and post-travel illness screenings. We advise you to check with your health insurance carrier about coverage for these services. 


Protect yourself

Immunization is one of the most important medical precautions a person can take when traveling. The Wilce Student Health Center offers Travel Assessment/Consultation Appointments to guide you through the immunization process and help you understand the importance of protecting yourself.

How we can help

Our Travel Medicine providers use software that is continuously updated to determine immunizations that are needed for specific countries and regions, and provide you with printed instructions for ‘take along’ medications. We are a one-stop clinic. We can administer the immunizations and supply medications that may be required for travel.

Available immunizations

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR)
  • Meningitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Polio
  • Rabies
  • Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis
  • Typhoid Fever
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Yellow Fever

When should I start my vaccinations

Travelers should call us to schedule an appointment as soon as they know that they will be taking a trip. Some vaccines may require a series of doses and therefore will require prior planning to meet vaccine-dosing schedules. Whenever possible, travelers should be seen a minimum of 6 weeks prior to departure.  

Post-travel medical care

Despite the best planning and preventive measures, accidents and illnesses can occur while traveling. Students with illnesses within a few months of travelling are strongly encouraged to come in for a post-travel medical visit.

What to bring to the appointment:

  • up-to-date vaccination records
  • current medications
  • recommendations from tour organizers
  • your list of questions

Did you get your travel recommendations from another clinic?  We can still give you the vaccines you need, if you bring a written order from your outside provider.

Injections normally start at the time of the Travel Assessment. Additional vaccinations can be scheduled separately as needed.

Health Tips:

  • Food and waterborne diseases are the number one cause of illness in travelers.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
  • Drink only bottled/boiled water, or carbonated drinks in cans or bottles, without ice.
  • Eat only cooked food or fruits and vegetables you have peeled yourself.
  • Boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it.
  • Don’t handle animals.
  • Don’t swim in freshwater, salt water is usually safer.
  • Protect yourself from insects by remaining in screened areas, using insect repellent, and wearing long sleeves and pants.
  • To prevent fungal and parasitic infections, do not go barefoot.
  • Carry a backup supply of your prescription medications with you on your trip.
  • Be sure you are up-to-date on your vision, dental, and medical exams before leaving.

Please visit U.S. Department of State for up-to-date travel advisories and information regarding specific countries.

Don’t forget to send us a postcard!

Roger Miller, MD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University

Medical Mythbusters – 10 Food Myths That Just Won’t Die!

Lifehacker has taken a page from the BuckMD playbook and decided to debunk 10 Stubborn Food Myths That Just Won’t Die

Does adding salt to water really change the boiling point and cook food faster?

Is it true that you should never use a wooden cutting board with meat?

Does searing meat really seal in juices?

Check out the Lifehacker article to find out.  And remember, if you have any questions about your diet we have two outstanding Registered Dieticians at the Student Health Center that you can come and talk to.

John A. Vaughn, MD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University

Student Health FAQs for New Students

Fall at the Shoe

Fall Colors

We know you’re bombarded with a lot of information in a small amount of time during orientation and it’s hard to retain it all.  So we thought we’d put the highlights here on the blog so that you can read them now that you are settled in.  Feel free to stop in or call if you have any questions.


Our web site gives information on how insurance works at the Student Health Center, but you should learn the basics – in-network vs. out-of-network, how co-pays work, etc. – and be sure to carry your insurance ID card with you at school. Checking out your insurance plan’s website, either for the Student Health Insurance Plan or your own plan is a great idea. too.

If you are not on the Student Health Insurance Plan, you should definitely consider purchasing the WilceCare Supplement.  For only $187 for the entire academic year, it supplements the health insurance that you already have by providing prepaid coverage for medical care delivered at the Student Health Center.  Routine x-rays, laboratory tests, physical therapy, minor office procedures, prescribed medical supplies, office visits for illness and injury and prescriptions are all covered.

Medical Records

We are under strict rules to keep all of your medical information confidential and we take those rules very seriously.  You’ll need to sign an authorization form for us to release your health information to anyone, including your parents.  An authorization form can only be completed for health services that have already been rendered which means that we can’t honor any requests like, “you can just let my Mom have access to my records for as long as I’m at Ohio State.”


There are no immunization requirements for most students entering Ohio State.  However, there are some program-specific requirements (for instance, health professional schools like medicine and nursing may require you to get certain immunizations) so be sure to check with your program coordinator. To learn more about the immunizations offered at Student Health Services, visit our Prevention/Immunizations page, and check out the other pages there and the attached documents.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following immunizations for all college students: Meningococcal Meningitis for students living in the dorm, Hepatitis B, HPV, MMR, Polio, Varicella (Chickenpox), Tetanus-Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Whooping Cough).  Hepatitis A, Influenza, and Pneumococcal vaccines are recommended for students with specific health risk factors.

All of these immunizations are available at the Student Health Center if you aren’t able to get them before you start school, or if you still need to complete a series.  If you can get a copy of your Immunization records, that would be really helpful and keep you from getting immunizations you don’t need.   

Allergy Injections

You can get your allergy shots at the Student Health Center while you’re here for school.  You need to submit the required paperwork prior to scheduling an appointment.  You can bring the allergen vials to the health center yourself or have them mailed to our facility.  We will store them for you and we can release them back to you as needed for injections during times away from the university.


You can transfer a prescription from home to our pharmacy.  All you need is the prescription number and the name/phone number of the original pharmacy – all of which are on the package label.  Our pharmacy is contracted with many insurance companies but not all.  You can stop by or call 614-292-0125 to find out if we can bill your specific insurance.

Web Page

These are just some highlights.  Explore our web page and read some of our other BuckMD blog posts to learn about the huge variety of services offered by your Student Health Services, a division of the Office of Student Life.

Enjoy the beautiful fall colors on campus and welcome to Ohio State!

Why do we yawn?

WebMD recently had a cool little article about yawning.  All humans (and most animals) do it, but why?  Does it serve some physiologic purpose (like cooling off our brains or increasing our oxygen levels when they get too low) or a social one (like sending some type of important communication signal through a pack, or herd or math class)?  Why is yawning contagious?  Why do you feel like yawning right now just because you’re reading the word ‘yawn’?  Who knows? 

The most obvious answer is that we yawn because we’re tired.  This is pretty much standard operating procedure for most college, grad and professional students – not enough sleep, too much stress, no regular schedules, etc.  If you’re feeling more tired than usual, come in and see us.  Just please, stop saying yawn…

John A. Vaughn, MD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University

Remembering the Pandemic Flu


Get your vaccination

It was this time two years ago that we were bracing for the return of pandemic influenza to campus.  We had already dealt with cases in the spring.  Were we in for a “second wave”?  Everyone was asking:

  • “When are we getting the pandemic flu vaccine, and who should get it?”
  • “Should people get their ‘regular’ flu shot?”
  • “How disruptive would this be to classes, student activities, afternoons at the Shoe?”

We have since learned that we need to stay vigilant about influenza. Not just new strains, but even the seasonal flu, which causes:

  • more than 36,000 deaths every flu season, mostly in infants and the elderly
  • nearly a quarter of a million hospitalizations every year
  • millions of missed days at work or school

Influenza continues to plague us in an era when vaccinations have led to declines in many of the most deadly diseases in history.  Why?  Because influenza virus changes rapidly and often.  Many years we are challenged by new strains or ones we haven’t seen in a while so sometimes our flu season is worse than other years and this effects the strength of our seasonal vaccine.

So, what should you do about the flu???

  • Wash your hands
  • Get a flu vaccine once every fall
  • Avoid exposure to ill persons and avoid sharing your illness if you get sick
  • Maintain a good immune system by good diet and exercise
  • Wash your hands

Oh, did I say wash your hands twice?  Well, for good measure, once you are done surfing our blog on your laptop that two of your roommates borrowed when you were out, and is now sitting on your lap in a local coffee house, where your hands have come in contact with dozens of surfaces that can harbor virus particles, why don’t you go wash them a third time??!!!

Flu shots are available at Student Health now, and are just as effective early as they are late in protecting you this winter.  The price is reasonable, and the process is easy.  Watch our calendar for our big walk-in events, get a shot while you pick up medicines in our pharmacy, or call 614-292-4321 and schedule an appointment. 

Welcome back, and have a healthy year!

Roger Miller, MD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University

Where is the Closest Chiropractor that Accepts Student Health Insurance?

Q: Where are the closest chiropractors in the campus area that take student health insurance?  I am trying to get an appointment for local adjustments, and I can’t seem to find any nearby.  Thanks.  

A:  The most conveniently located chiropractor, or any other alternative medicine doctor, is going to be at OSU Integrative Medicine. They are located at 2000 Kenny Rd, across the street from West Campus. They offer chiropractic, massage, and acupuncture services; all services are covered by SHIP (the Student Health Insurance Plan) with a qualifying diagnosis.  Dr. John Grandominico is the chiropractor and can normally get you in for an appointment fairly quickly.  Their phone number is 614-293-9777.

While Student Health Insurance does not require a referral to see a specialist, their office may require one from your primary care doctor in order to submit these charges through insurance. Referrals can be easily obtained with a visit at the Student Health Services.

Alison Sauers, Referral Coordinator
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University

IUD’s – Not Just for Moms Anymore!

Q:   Is it safe for me to use an IUD if I haven’t had any babies yet?

A: Even though they’re not as popular as other forms of birth control, IUD’s (intra-uterine devices) are a very safe and effective option for birth control, especially in women who find it hard to remember to take a pill every day or come in for a shot every 3 months. 

In the past, IUD’s were restricted to women who already had children and were in a monogamous relationship because of concerns that women with multiple partners were at a higher risk of getting a pelvic infection that could lead to future infertility.  But as long as a woman doesn’t have an infection at the time of the IUD insertion, her risk of pelvic infection is no higher than if she used other forms of birth control.  Remember – we’re talking about infection due to the IUD here.  IUD’s do NOT provide any protection from sexually transmitted infections, so always keep the condoms handy. 

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recently recommended IUD’s for all women who seek a safe, effective, long-term contraception option – this includes adolescents, women who haven’t had any children yet, even women with a history of tubal pregnancy or pelvic infection.  You don’t need to take antibiotics at the time of insertion and the copper-containing IUD (there are two types) can even be used up to 5 days after unprotected intercourse to prevent unwanted pregnancy.  Again, as long as there is no pelvic infection at the time of insertion, an IUD really is a safe and easy option. 

ACOG also recommends another good option for long-term birth control – Implanon.  Implanon is a small rod that is inserted just beneath the skin of the inner aspect of the upper arm under local anesthetic.  We do it right here at the Student Health Center.  It works by inhibiting ovulation and thickening the cervical mucus and it lasts for 3 years.  It is about the size of a pencil lead and releases a progestin hormone called etonogestrel.  Implanon is safe, convenient and 99% effective.  It needs to be removed after 3 years, but a new rod can be implanted at the time of removal.

If you have any questions about birth control, come in and talk to the Women’s Services staff at the Student Health Center.  We know how to manage all the various options and will help you find the best one for your lifestyle!

Ryo Choi-Pearson, MD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University