A national poll conducted by the C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Michigan illustrates that most American parents don’t know when their kids are using “study drugs” to enhance their academic performance. The researchers found that only 1 in 100 parents believed that their child had experimented with “study drugs” (typically ADHD medications that are believed to increase focus and improve a study cramming session). However, while only 1 percent of parents believed that their child had experimented with these medications, the fact is that about 1 in 10 teens in high school report they have experimented with this dangerous new trend.
How can you know whether or not your son is abusing so-called “study drugs”? Should you be concerned if he is?
The Dangers of Teen ADHD Med Abuse
Far too often, teenagers have the misconception that because a drug is a prescription medication (as opposed to a street drug or illicit drug) that it is safe to use without a doctor’s guidance or supervision. Prescription drugs have a myriad of health consequences, particularly when:
- Too much is taken
- The drug is taken in combination with other illicit substances
- The medication is used by someone who does not have a medical need or prescription for it
- The drug is taken regularly for long periods of time
ADHD medications like Ritalin, Vyvanse, Concerta, and Adderall are some of the most commonly prescribed drugs for treatment of the disorder, but they are also extremely dangerous when abused by those who are not diagnosed with ADHD. Risks of use include:
- Chemical imbalance
- Sleep disorders
- Cardiac incidents, including cardiac arrest
Talk to Your Child About Drug Abuse
A conversation about drugs and alcohol is rarely comfortable for parent or son. However, it’s not a conversation that you can skip due to embarrassment or discomfort. In fact, research shows that parents who address the issue of drug use and dependence with their kids very often have an impact—even if their son initially seems disinterested or even irritated with the conversation. Here are a few tips:
- Have the conversation early.
- Have the conversation often.
- Make it clear that you do not approve of any use of drugs or alcohol for any reason.
- Answer any questions they have but avoiding indulging in personal information about your use of drugs or alcohol during your youth.
- Listen to whatever your son has to say on the subject.
- Ask if they’ve tried drugs or alcohol.
- Ask if their friends get high or drink.
- Help them come up with a plan if they find themselves in a situation where drugs and alcohol are present.
If you feel that your son is using drugs or alcohol and unable to stop without help, we can help. Contact us at Muir Wood at the phone number listed above and learn more about our male-only, teen-specific rehabilitation program today.