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Jason Kendall Implicates Brian Giles, Bobby Crosby in Possible Adderall Use

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The former Pirates catcher (and current Royals starter) is mired in a messy divorce with his soon-to-be-ex-wife Chantel, and she has accused him in court filings of abusing the prescription drug. Radar Online has been all over the story for the last week, and according to their latest piece  on the subject, Kendall has implicated both current Pirate Bobby Crosby and the just-retired Brian Giles as possible abusers of the drug:

In the papers, Kendall disclosed that Brian Giles is someone that he has known since 1997 and when asked if Giles uses Adderall, Kendall said, "I believe so." He didn't know if Giles was currently taking it.

Kendall was also asked if he knew if Bobby Crosby took Adderall and he said, "I don't know," before going on to admit that the two had discussed Adderall "more than one time."

Adderall is a stimulant, and a Schedule II controlled substance, a classification that hinges on the three following points:

(A) The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
(B) The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions.
(C) Abuse of the drug or other substances may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
 

 It is commonly prescribed for the treatment of narcolepsy and Attention-Defecit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), is often used illegally in schools to improve focus and concentration. In a nutshell, it's a time-released amphetamine.

Players in Major League Baseball are permitted to use Adderall or other ADHD medications if they receive what's called a "theraputic use exemption". To do so, the player receives a diagnosis of ADHD and a prescription from a doctor, who then submits that prescription and the player's medical records to Dr. Bryan Smith, the man in charge of MLB's drug testing, who investigates the doctor's credentials and attempts to determine whether the diagnosis is legitimate.

Theraputic use exemptions for ADHD medications incresed dramatically following the creation of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and the onset of drug testing in spring of 2006: From 28 in 2006, to 106 in 2007. I know of two recent Pirates who were diagnosed with ADHD: Adam LaRoche , who was diagnosed in high school and has a theraputic use exemption, and Tom Gorzelanny , who was diagnosed in elementary school, and who stopped taking medications in college. There are some more details about both in this 2007 article from USA Today . It's also worth noting that ADHD is currently diagnosed almost twice as often among MLB players as among the US population at large.

The illegal use of stimulants has been widespread in baseball for decades. Jim Bouton has said that half of the league was taking "greenies" in the 1970s, for example, and they played a prominent role in the Pittsburgh Drug Trials of the 1980s. Nevertheless, it's disconcerting to see past and present members of the team involved in a drug scandal. It's a situation that bears further monitoring as we continue to go deeper into spring training.

Update (3/12) Just to clarify: Per the documents, Kendall does have a prescription for Adderall. It was issued by Dr. Abraham Havivi, a Los Angeles psychiatrist. Dr. Havivi is also an ordained Conservative rabbi, and is on the faculty of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University. His brief biography on their site indicates that he received his BA from Brown University and his MD from UPenn, and did his residency at UCLA's Neuropsychiatric Institute. That's an impressive resume - he wasn't studying with Nick Riviera at Hollywood Upstairs Medical College. Several sources describe him as specializing in child and adolescent psychiatry, which probably opens up a few potential jokes about the mentality of the professional athlete.

Interestingly, Dr. Havivi has also written on the subject of substance abuse. For an example, see his article "Substance Abuse in Teens: A Clinical Approach to Assessment and Treatment" in Adolescent Psychiatry, V. 29: Annals of the American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry (ISBN 088163395X), a large chunk of which is available on Google Books.