It’s no secret drugs and alcohol sometimes find their way into school grounds. Most parents are aware of the fact that children, particularly high school students, will encounter substances such as marijuana and booze. However, authorities have begun to notice a newer trend — prescription drugs are being sold at school to students now as well.
Which prescription drugs are being sold to students?
While it’s unclear exactly how many times people sell prescription drugs in schools, canadadrugfree.org says 450,000 Canadian kids have taken medication not prescribed to them. One particular type of drug frequently exchanged is the medication used to treat attention deficit hyperactive disorder, or ADHD, according to insideADHD.org. Students have been caught selling and buying drugs such as adderall and ritalin.
Why are prescription drugs sold to students at school?
Drugs used to treat ADHD are favoured particularly in college campuses because they act as performance enhancers that increase mental focus and productivity, according to HerCampus.com. The article says some students believe they study better with adderall and ritalin, which isn’t a surprise considering these stimulants are designed to help people focus. It’s little wonder the use of these drugs is highest in the most academically competitive universities.
And this is not a small problem — The Daily Beast reports two-thirds of college students are offered either adderall or a similar drug by their senior year. This is not without consequence. SAMHSA says between 2005 and 2010 emergency room visits related to people abusing ADHD medications tripled from 5,212 to 15,585.
Problems arise when students take adderall without professional guidance
It’s good to keep in mind there is nothing inherently wrong with adderall and ritalin — when used properly, these stimulants can be effective tools to help people with legitimate mental health problems function.
But when used without proper medical supervision, there can be negative consequences. These drugs are designed to calm people with ADHD by increasing the amount of dopamine in their brain. But people who do not have attention deficit problems could end up with too much dopamine in their system after ingesting the drug. That’s because these medications are designed to compensate for people who inherently have less dopamine than usual.
The bottom line — people who abuse the drug may experience less focus and more restlessness, along with some possible side effects that you can find listed at addictionhope.com.
What parents can do to prevent to prevent prescription drug abuse
Parents would do well to educate their children on the effects of prescription drug abuse in schools. One of the most common fallacies is that prescription drugs are ‘safe,’ because they are given by doctors. According to the Daily Beast article we mentioned above, 81 per cent of students think using prescription drugs without a doctor’s approval or guidance is not dangerous. And while some side effects aren’t serious, there is always a chance of getting a more severe reaction to a drug like adderall. Some examples from the addictionhope.com article we mentioned above include paranoia and even seizures. So be proactive — make sure you dispel notions that a drug is completely safe just because it can be prescribed.