Parents clueless about use of study drugs

hs kids

Many teens are reporting that they use “study drugs” to boost academic performance, while their parents don’t even know what a study drug is.

Kids believe these drugs improve focus

New research from the University of Michigan Mitt Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health found that only 1% of parents suspected their children were misusing prescription drugs, stimulants or amphetamines. In reality, 10% of American high school sophomores and 12% of high school seniors are dabbling in the drugs. What’s the drug of choice? Prescription drugs used to control attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) which these kids believe will help them focus and improve their scores. These drugs include Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, and Vyvanse.

Repercussions are serious

The phenomenon is not new. The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) announced publicly last year that doctors should not prescribe meds for ADHD if they suspect the children are abusing them as a means of achieving higher grades. The Substance Abuse and Mental Helath Services Administration (SMHSA) reports that the number of emergency room visits involving ADHD drugs rose more than 100% from 2005 to 2010 – from 13,379 cases to 31,244. Children are getting the drugs from friends or buying it illegally from others.

Disconnect between parents’ perception and kids’ reality

“Taking these medications when they are not prescribed for you can lead to acute exhaustion, abnormal heart rhythms and even confusion and psychosis if the teens get addicted and go into withdrawal,” warned Matthew M. Davis, MD, MAPP, director of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, University of Michigan


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