The problem with teens abusing drugs and stimulants that are meant for ADD and ADHD has become a crisis in our generation. The frightening part is that these drugs are not illegal because they are used to treat mental disorders common amongst teens, but the abuse is not only just as common, but it only temporarily has a positive effect and long-term negative effects. The abuse of any sort of drug is hazardous and the focus on these problems is not ardent enough, so the issue is only increasing.
According to healthland.com, only five percent of American teenagers suffer from ADD or ADHD, but fifteen to forty percent of all teenagers abuse the drugs that are used to treat the disorders. The most commonly used drug of this sort is Adderall, which is an amphetamine stimulant. While some of these drugs are short-acting, intermediate-acting, or long-acting, they all have similar side effects, such as loss of appetite, weight loss, sleeping problems, and irritability, so it’s a wonder why someone would want to abuse the drug anyhow. Some other less-common, unpleasant side effects of these drugs include mood swings, anxiety, abdominal pain, headaches, agitation, and apathetic behavior.
None of these drugs are safe if they are overused and/or abused. Nowadays, the drugs have become a serious issue amongst teens and even college students in America. High school and college students have found that whether they suffer from the disorder or not, taking the medication will enhance their alertness and ability to focus better in class. Statistics show that fifteen percent of college students have illegally ingested Adderall, Ritalin, or other stimulants. There are many college and high school students who take the drugs-Adderall in particular-recreationally.
Many young adults like feelings they experience when on the drugs and will take them more often than what is recommended for their safety. The feelings when on the medications have been described as “numb,” “emotionless,” or “alert.” High school students with or without the mental disorder confessed to feeling like they do better and get more accomplished in school when they take stimulants. Some students who have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD would rather not take the medication they were prescribed because they are aware of how serious the effects are and do not want to build a dependency of the drug. The abuse of Adderall is present in numerous high schools now and also very dangerous because Adderall is habit-forming and addictive, and overdose often leads to heart failure and can permanently alter brain chemistry, which students may not be fully aware of. Dr. Henry Croft, medical reviewer of Healthyplace.com said, “A person addicted to Adderall feels like it’s impossible to go on without it.” It has also been found common for Adderall abusers to become binge drinkers, and that abuse of the drug is most common during midterm and finals weeks.
According to PubMed Health, the side effects of stimulant abuse grows worse the more they are used and lead to more serious problems such as mania or difficulty breathing. Kids can get the drugs at school from ‘dealers’ who are usually the ones who have been diagnosed with ADD and/or ADHD, therefor obtaining a prescription for the drug and will easily make profits of seven to ten dollars for each pill which should be left at home in the first place. Not only is the resale of prescription drugs illegal, but this has led to teens all across America becoming addicted and abusing the drugs.
If you or someone you know has been recreationally abusing drugs that are designed to treat ADD and/or ADHD to a point where it has become a serious issue, help is available at teens.drugabuse.gov.