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ADHD medication overuse: new trend among middle/high school students

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Jul 10, 2023
ADHD medication overuse: new trend among middle/high school students

Following the past few years, a rising number of middle and high school adolescents have been abusing prescribed ADHD drugs, including one in four taking stimulants, according to a University of Michigan research. 

These medications, such as Adderall and Ritalin, are commonly used to treat ADHD symptoms like lack of attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Plenty of pupils, however, are resorting to these drugs to improve their academic performance, attention, and capacity to remain conscious for a longer amount of time.

Almost Legal Drug Abuse

Abuse of drugs may give rise to a false perception of self-confidence and negatively impact learning outcomes. These medications may temporarily improve focus while decreasing the desire to rest, but the side effects are likely to outweigh the possible upsides. 

Stimulants have become more frequent in the treatment of ADHD, yet they are the most commonly abused prescription medication among teenagers. According to the study, there is a substantial correlation between legitimate and illicit ADHD drug usage. According to reports, many children obtain drugs from their classmates, which can lead to usage and addiction.

The research emphasizes the necessity of raising knowledge and educating people about the dangers of abusing ADHD drugs. To guarantee that these medications are only taken as recommended, parents, educators, and healthcare practitioners must  collaborate. 

“Prescription stimulant therapy for ADHD does help millions of people, including my own family, students, friends, and colleagues,” says lead author Sean Esteban McCabe, but “it’s critical to balance the need for access to these medications while reducing the risk of misuse.” With the growth in prescription, this is more vital than ever.”

The Dangers of Medication Abuse

The research found that students who used both stimulant and non-stimulant ADHD drugs seemed more likely to try out using cocaine, methamphetamine, and other prescription stimulants than individuals who had never been provided these prescriptions. This demonstrates the possible gateway impact of ADHD drugs, as well as the need to avoid overuse and addiction.

Stimulants can be addictive if used at dosages or ways that go beyond those advised by a healthcare professional. Individuals who misuse medications for an extended period of time may face serious health consequences.