Stimulant medication could be the miracle drug, or the most harmful thing to hit the younger generations. Medications such as Adderall and Ritalin are playing a prominent role in many adolescents’ lives, or the lives of people close to them. There is an “underground market” for medications like these, and the market is growing quickly. Whether just to make sure they pass that next test, or if they really believe they need it, stimulants’ popularity is soaring, and not just among adolescents but doctors as well. Stimulant medication / therapy is being prescribed at a growing rate, leading to many cases of misuse and diversion that can severely affect the users entire life, and play a very unclear part in any other substance abuse they engage in later in life. ADHD is quickly becoming one of the most commonly diagnosed disorders, and the rate seems to continue increasing as more information on it becomes available. Then again ADHD has a fairly wide range of functions it can affect. While the disorder, for children anyway, can be simplified down to hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention, those three symptoms can affect “cognitive, academic, behavioral, emotional, and social functioning,” quickly becoming a major problem. Over the years, a complex diagnostic process has been developed specifically for children. “For children <17 years, the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition) diagnosis of ADHD requires ≥6 symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity or ≥6 symptoms of inattention. For adolescents ≥17 years and adults, ≥5 symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity or ≥5 symptoms of inattention are required.” In addition to those exact requirements, in order to even be considered symptoms they ha... ... middle of paper ... .... New York: Oxford UP, 2001. Print. Wilens, Timothy E., MD, Lenard A. Adler, MD, Jill Adams, PhD, Stephanie Sgambati, MA, John Rotrosen, MD, Robert Sawtelle, BA, Linsey Utzinger, BA, and Steven Fusillo, BS. "Misuse and Diversion of Stimulants Prescribed for ADHD: A Systematic Review of Literature." Jaacap.com. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Jan. 2008. Web. 9 Dec. 2013. Wilens, Timothy E., MD, Stephen V. Faraone, PhD, Joseph Biederman, MD, and Samantha Gunawardene, BS. "Does Stimulant Therapy of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Beget Later Substance Abuse? A Meta-analytic Review of the Literature." Does Stimulant Therapy of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Beget Later Substance Abuse? A Meta-analytic Review of the Literature. Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, 18 June 2002. Web. 09 Dec. 2013.
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