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Teens Abuse ADD Meds

Stimulant medications such as Ritalin and Adderall used to treat ADHD, diet pills, and medicines that contain methamphetamine are drugs that are being abused by teens to help them in their studies, cram for exams, and improve their grades.  Younger people are most likely to start misusing prescribed stimulant drugs in their high school years according to new University of Michigan research.

Prescription diet pills are the post popular stimulant drug misused by females and Adderall was the most popular among males.  At the age of 18, stimulant misuse was twice as high among women as it was in young men.  Most prescription drugs are dangerous when taken with alcohol or other drugs and can raise the risk of violent behaviors and drunk driving.

 Teens Abuse ADD Meds 

It is therefore essential that information and education programs be implemented in the middle school to educate our young people from misusing these prescribed stimulants which are not personally indicated and prescribed for them in the first place.

Elizabeth Austic, Ph.D., MSW, MSI, who is part of the Postdoctoral Translational Scholars Program run by the U-M Medical School’s Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research, points that while most education prevention programs to avoid drug misuses are centered around college level population, her results show that those that are aged 20 and 21 had the same rate of starting stimulant use as those aged 13 and 14.  It is noted that misuse or abuse of stimulants/drugs is most likely to start in the late teen years.

People think this is prevalent in college years due to the problems they face but in fact, it is more prevalent at younger ages.  The younger they are, the more likely they may develop drug dependence problems.  We must prevent them from using it for the first time as it is often more cost efficient and effective rather than trying to intervene once they have done it.  They have high chances of being dependent on taking a drug not prescribed for them and they are at great risk for the side effects including suicide or sudden death.

On the other hand, there are some facts that a quarter of our adolescents who have been prescribed ADHD medication either share, sell, or give it to others as they are pressured or bullied, and some 7 percent are stolen.  With this issue, it must be emphasized that parents of children and teens who use ADHD/stimulant medication should also be informed to understand the realities of medication misuse and to monitor their child’s medication supply.

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