Parents Unaware of Teen's Risky Addiction

By: WSAW Staff
By: WSAW Staff

It's a prescription that's given to teens to treat ADD and ADHD, but a shocking new study shows that nearly 1-in-4 college students admitted to abusing it. Even more surprising, Adderall abuse is on the rise among high school seniors, with 7-percent saying they’ve tried it in hopes of losing weight or having the ability to pull “all-nighters” to study.

Many students say they take Adderall because they believe it will help them get better grades. However, doctors say there’s no proof. Salem Kamlay, a Pharmacy Practice resident at Aspirus Wausau Hospital says, “There have been studies on this and the jury is still out. Nobody is really certain if Adderall enhances memory or studying."

For those diagnosed with ADD and ADHD, Adderall helps slow the person's brain down. But for someone who does not have those disorders, the drug will have the opposite effect. Adderall abuse is often called the “smart pill”, but Kamlay warns students who abuse it often build a tolerance and will require high doses to maintain the same high they initially felt. Adderall can be bought on the street for just a few dollars per pill.

Doctors say parents may not even be aware of what's going on. But for those abusing Adderall should know it comes with a long list of risks including heart attacks, seizures, hallucinations and even sudden death.

Adderall carries a "black box warning", which is the most severe for a prescription medication. It's in the same category as cocaine and is just as addictive.

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