Cyrus Stowe was a senior at Dallas High School when he made his documentary Out of Reach. With the goal of exploring the prescription drug abuse in his hometown, the movie has become an awareness-raising tool to help communities, parents and kids recognize that not only are prescription medications dangerous but also that their use is an ongoing problem among teens—one that needs to be addressed.
Said Stowe, “I went to school with kids that have been abusing medicine for years now. I didn’t have the slightest clue they were using drugs. These are good, smart kids, and if I had no idea, I imagine that many of their families don’t either.”
Stimulant Medication Abuse
One of the bigger stories that Stowe felt strongly about but was pulled at the last moment centered on a girl who was prescribed ADHD medications but abused them. She reported to Stowe that at their school, a number of kids were willing to buy and sell their pills, especially for a “boost” before taking a test.
Stowe couldn’t include the story in the documentary because her family pulled the interview, but the abuse of stimulant prescription medications is one of the biggest problems facing American teens as they confront the pressures of performing academically and competing for a few spots in colleges and universities. It’s a problem that often follows them into higher education as competition for even fewer spots in master’s level programs and doctoral programs increases.
In fact, many in the workforce who began abusing stimulant medications during high school continue to abuse the drugs as they start to climb their respective corporate ladders and make a name for themselves. Some even present with false symptoms of ADHD in order to get their own prescription for the medication or fail to report that they are abusing the pills if they have had a prescription for these drugs since childhood. Unfortunately, this can lead to addiction, erratic behavior, and mental health problems that can undermine all the success that they are working so hard to achieve.
Treatment for Stimulant Prescription Medication Abuse
Because the teens who abuse these medications often do so in order to further their academic performance and growth, it’s not always easy for parents to identify when their child has a problem. Parents should take note when their child:
- Is in possession of unidentified pills
- Stays up for days at a time with intense focus
- Suddenly drops weight or loses their appetite
- Behaves erratically (e.g., aggressively)
- Is unhealthily focused on maintaining high performance across multiple fronts (e.g., sports, academics, work, extracurricular projects)
If your son is abusing prescription drugs of any kind, don’t wait to get help. At Muir Wood, we offer an intensive, teen-focused rehab experience for boys that can help your son begin the healing process now. Call today to begin.