Over the last decade, a new epidemic has risen in America regarding the sustained trend in teens abusing and misusing stimulant drugs prescribed for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), specifically Ritalin and Adderall. There has been an increase in the number of teens diagnosed with ADHD and practitioners prescribing stimulants as treatment. These drugs are known in the teen community as the so-called “study drug”. An alarming high percentage of teens that are not diagnosed with ADHD are using this drug in attempt to achieve academic success as well as abusing it for recreational purposes. Due to the increase in teens being diagnosed with ADHD and being prescribed stimulants, the availability of ADHD stimulants has increased and are being abused and misused by other teens. In addition, caregiver’s lax attitudes as well as not supporting school safety prescription policies, has contributed to this disturbing trend in teens misusing and abusing the so-called “Study Drug”.
U.S. Heath News reported (2013) that 6.4 million children ages 4 to 17 have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Since 2007, the utilization of stimulant medication to treat ADHD has jumped 11% nationally as a whole. It was also reported that the U.S. spends more on prescription drugs to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder than it does for all but six other medical conditions (U.S. News Health, 2013). The number of ADHD diagnosed teens prescribed stimulants, such as Ritalin and Adderall, will be increasing over time as the new guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics now recognizes physicians prescribing ADHD stimulant medications to childre...
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...Brown University Child & Adolescent Behavior Letter, 25(11), 3.
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Robb, Adelaid(2008), ADHD and Substance Use: The Importance of Integrated Treatment, NAMI Beginnings, Issue 11, 2008.
U.S. News Health – Health Day (May 31, 2013), Many Parents Unaware of Teens’ Abuse of ADHD Drugs, Retrieved from http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2013/05/31/many-parents-unaware-of-teens-abuse-of-adhd-drugs
U.S. News Health – Health Day (Nov 22, 2013), 1 in 10 U.S. Children Now Has ADHD, CDC Says, Retrieved from http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2013/11/22/1-in-10-us-children-now-has-adhd-cdc-says
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