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ADHD substance abuse in schools ‘alarm bells’

ADHD substance abuse in schools ‘alarm bells’



One in four teens in U.S. middle and high schools report having abused prescription stimulants in the previous year for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, new research finds. I was.

“This is the first national survey to look at non-medical use of prescription stimulants by middle and high school students, and we found a tremendous range of misuse,” said Sean Esteban, lead author and director of the Research Center. McCabe said. Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking, and Health Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

McCabe, also a professor of nursing at the University of Michigan School of Nursing, said, “Some schools had little or no stimulant misuse, while others reported more than 25 percent of students using stimulants in non-medical ways.” “This study is a big wake-up call.”

Nonmedical uses of stimulants include taking more than the usual dose to get high or taking the drugs together. alcohol or other drugs to boost the high Previous research i got you.

Students also abuse drugs and “use pills someone gave them because of stress related to schoolwork. They stay up late trying to study or finish papers,” he said. Pediatrician Dr. Deepa Camenga says Yale Program in Addiction Medicine New Haven, Connecticut.

“We know this is happening in colleges. The main takeaway from the new study is that the misuse and sharing of stimulant prescription drugs is happening not just in colleges, but in middle and high schools,” he said. Camenga, who was not involved in the study, said.

Published in the magazine on Tuesday JAMA network openThe study analyzed data collected between 2005 and 2020 by Monitoring the Future, a federal study that has measured drug and alcohol use among middle school students nationwide annually since 1975.

The data set used for this study surveyed more than 230,000 teenagers in grades 8, 10, and 12 in a nationally representative sample of 3,284 secondary schools.

Schools with the highest rates Teenagers using prescribed ADHD medication A study found that students were about 36% more likely to abuse prescription stimulants in the past year. In schools with few or no students using such remedies now, the problem was much less, but not gone.

“We know that the two biggest sources of information are probably leftover medication from family members such as siblings, and questions from peers who may be attending other schools.

Studies show that suburban schools in all regions of the United States except the Northeast have high teenage ADHD drug misuse rates, typically similar to schools where at least one parent holds a college degree. was.

Schools with more white students and moderate levels of student heavy drinking were also more likely to see teenage stimulant abuse.

The analysis found that students who said they had used marijuana in the past 30 days were four times more likely to abuse ADHD medications than teens who did not use marijuana.

Additionally, adolescents who reported current or past ADHD medication use were about 2.5% more likely to have misused stimulants. A study found that they were peers who had never used stimulants.

“But these findings go beyond drug abuse by ADHD teenagers,” McCabe said. “Even after excluding students who had never been prescribed ADHD therapy, we still found a significant association.”

Data collection for this study was up to 2020. since then, new stats Stimulant prescriptions show a 10% surge in 2021 across most age groups. At the same time, Adderall, one of the most popular ADHD drugs, is in short supply nationwide, leaving many patients. I am unable to fill or refill my prescription.

The risk is high: Inappropriate and long-term use of stimulants can lead to stimulant use disorders, leading to anxiety, depression, psychosis and seizures, experts say.

Excessive use or combination with alcohol or other drugs can have sudden health effects. may include delusions, dangerously high temperatures, and irregular heartbeats. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Management.

Studies also show that people who misuse ADHD medications are more likely to have ADHD multiple substance use disorder.

Stimulant abuse has increased over the past two decades, according to experts, and as adolescents diagnosed and prescribed Those Drugs — Studies Have One in nine high school seniors reports being on stimulant therapy for ADHD, McCabe said.

For children with ADHD who use their medications appropriately, stimulants are an effective treatment. Adolescents who are supervised do very well: they are at lower risk of new mental health problems and new substance use disorders.”

McCabe emphasized that the solution to the problem of teenage stimulant abuse is not to limit drug use to children who really need it.

Parents should use lockboxes, count pills and keep track of early prescription refills, experts say.

“Instead, we need to give very long and serious consideration to school strategies that are more or less effective in curbing stimulant misuse,” he said. can be safely stored, ensure strict dispensing policies, and ask about prevalence of misuse, and that data is available to all schools.”

Families can also help by discussing with their children how to deal with peers who want a pill or two to attend a party or all-night study session, he added.

“You’d be surprised how many kids don’t know what to say,” McCabe said. “Parents can role-play with their kids and give them options of what to say so they’re ready when it happens.”

Guardian He added that controlled medicines should always be kept in a lockbox, not afraid to count pills, and to keep track of early refills.

“Finally, if parents suspect misuse, they should contact their child’s prescriber immediately,” McCabe said. “The child should be screened and evaluated immediately.”




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