Parents Don’t Know That Their Kids Use “Study Drugs”

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Only one out of every 100 parents of teens aged 13 to 17 believes their child has used a “study drug”—a prescription stimulant or amphetamine—but parents’ perceptions may be way off. Another recent study found that one in four high school teenagers has used or misused a prescription drug, reports Anthony Riveras on the website Medical Daily:

“The University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health found that just one percent of parents said they believe their child had taken prescription stimulant medication, such as Adderall, Ritalin, or Vyvanse. These medications are used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Students who aren’t prescribed these medications sometimes use them to stay awake or concentrate better while studying for tests.

‘Sometimes students without ADHD take someone else’s medication, to try to stay awake and alert and try to improve their scores on exams or assignments,’ Matthew M. Davis, director of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, said. ‘Taking study drugs has not been proven to improve students’ grades, and it can be very dangerous to their health.’

The poll results come a month after The Partnership at Drugfree.org reported that one in four teens in grades 9-12, totaling five million teens, have misused or abused prescription drugs at least once in their lifetime—amounting to a 33 percent increase in the last five years—with 13 percent having taken Ritalin or Adderall.” (Read more here.)

This report makes me concerned for both teens and parents. Clearly teens feel under pressure to succeed in school, and may not be aware of ways to improve their performance other than taking a drug. At the same time, parents seem to be out of touch with the pressure their kids are feeling and the measures they may take to handle it.

Readers who are teens or parents of teens: Is the use of “study drugs” common at your school?

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One Response to “Parents Don’t Know That Their Kids Use “Study Drugs””

  1. Alice King says:

    Post-pubertal humans don’t respond paradoxically to amphetamines,
    so giving stimulants to teenagers as “study drugs” is merely an
    introduction to recreational drug use, i.e. “speed”. In the 60’s,
    speed was a very common “entry level” recreational drug. What a hoot. Are the prescribers of these drugs really THAT naïve??

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