There is a new type of drug abuse hitting high schoolers all over America. It isn’t marijuana or even cocaine. In fact, parents may be surprised to learn that these drugs can even be abused. They are ADHD drugs and their abuse is becoming quite popular.
A national study of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders in 2011 showed that 2.1 percent admitted to abusing Ritalin and 4.1 percent admitted to abusing Adderall. These particular types of prescription drugs are used to treat conditions such as ADHD. ADHD is often diagnosed as a result of someone displaying impulsive behavior, difficulty following instructions, restlessness and distractibility. As stimulants, these drugs “calm down” someone with ADHD.
Many teens use these types of drugs as “study drugs” in order to stay up all night to cram for a test, finish a paper and even to perform better on exams. Others abuse them simply for getting high, or as “party drugs”. These stimulants can give a feeling of euphoria, energy, and self-confidence that many teens enjoy.
ADHD Drugs May Cause Dangerous Side Effects
These stimulants work to stimulate your body, which in turn, raises your heartbeat. Because stimulants are often abused at parties, there is usually alcohol involved, which can increase the danger of these drugs by a large amount. Typical side effects as a result of abusing stimulants include irregular heartbeat, extremely high blood pressure, seizures, tremors, difficulty breathing and mood disorders. Even more terrifying are the effects of repeated use of high doses, which could result in confusion, hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia, stoke and even death. Though not all abusers use stimulants as means of partying, that doesn’t mean they pose any less of a danger.
Warning Signs of ADHD Drug Abuse
Teens who are abusing stimulants may show certain changes in mental and physical behavior such as:
• Problems in school
• Changes in activities or friends
• Unusually long periods of sleeplessness
• Heightened attention
• Lack of appetite
• Memory lapses
• Mood swings
• Weight loss
• Dialed pupils
• Dry mouth and nose
If you notice any of these symptoms with your child or someone you know, get help right away. The longer someone struggles with drug abuse or addiction, they harder it will be for him or her to overcome it. There are many treatment programs available all over the world that can help people recover from drug abuse.
But, most importantly, parents should do their best to prevent drug abuse in the first place by talking to their kids about drugs and educating them of the dangers of taking them. Prepare your children to make positive decisions when it comes to putting these types of substances into their bodies. Knowledge is power and it is the best means of prevention that is available. The abuse of these drugs is a real problem that needs just as much attention, if not more, than the use of pot or alcohol and should be taken very seriously.
If you have children talk to them about the dangers of ADHD drugs. If they are having problems in school sign them up for extra help or tutoring. Make sure that they know that taking a drug is not the solution for better grades but will only aid in their overall deterioration in life.
Many kids have the wrong information about ADHD and other prescription drugs and think that because they are legally prescribed, that they are not addictive or dangerous. This could not be further from the truth.
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