ADHD substance abuse in schools is a ‘wake-up call’


A quarter of teens in some U.S. middle and high schools report abusing prescription stimulants for ADHD in the previous year, a new study finds.

“This is the first national study of non-medical use of prescription stimulants among middle and high school students, and we found substantial Abuse.” or Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking, and Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

“At some schools, there was almost no doping abuse, while at other schools, more than 25 percent of students had doping in non-medical ways,” said McCabe, who is also a professor of nursing at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. “This study is an important wake-up call.”

Previous research has found that non-medical uses of stimulants may include taking more than normal doses of the drug to boost stimulants, or taking the drug with alcohol or other drugs to boost stimulants.

Students also overuse drugs or “use pills that someone gives them because they’re stressed about schoolwork — they’re trying to stay up late studying or finishing their papers,” the pediatrician said. Deepa Camenga, Associate Director, Pediatrics Program, Yale Addiction Medicine Program New Haven, Connecticut.

“We know this is happening in college. One of the key takeaways from this new study is that misusing and sharing stimulant prescription drugs is happening in middle schools and high schools, not just college,” said Kamenga, who was not involved in the study.

The study, published Tuesday in the journal JAMA Network Open, analyzed data collected between 2005 and 2020 by Monitoring the Future, a federal survey of drug and alcohol use among middle school students nationwide, conducted annually since 1975. Measurement.

In the dataset used in this study, questionnaires were administered to more than 230,000 adolescents in eighth, tenth, and twelfth grades in a nationally representative sample of 3,284 middle schools.

schools with the highest acceptance rates Against Using Prescribed ADHD Medications Students were 36 percent more likely to misuse prescription stimulants in the past year, the study found. The problem is much smaller in schools where few students currently use such treatments, McCabe said, but it hasn’t gone away.

“We know that the two biggest sources are leftover medication, which may come from family members such as siblings, and peers who may go to other schools,” he said.

According to the study, suburban schools in all U.S. regions except the Northeast had higher rates of aversion to ADHD substance abuse than schools that typically had one or more parents with a college degree.

Schools with more white students and schools with moderate levels of alcohol use were also more likely to be anti-doping.

On an individual level, students who reported using marijuana in the past 30 days were four times more likely to abuse an ADHD substance than teens who did not use marijuana, according to the analysis.

Additionally, teens who reported current or past ADHD use were 2.5 percent more likely than other teens to abuse stimulants The study found that peers who had never used stimulants

“But these findings weren’t solely driven by substance abuse among teens with ADHD,” McCabe said. “We still found a significant association, even when we excluded students who had never received ADHD treatment.”

Data collection for the study continued until 2020. Since then, new statistics show that stimulant prescriptions for most age groups have surged by 10% during 2021.Meanwhile, there is a nationwide shortage of Adderall, one of ADHD’s most popular medications, leaving many patients Cannot fill or refill prescriptions.

The stakes are high: Over time, taking stimulant medication incorrectly can lead to stimulant use disorder, which can lead to anxiety, depression, psychosis and seizures, experts say.

May have sudden health consequences if used excessively or in combination with alcohol or other drugs. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, side effects can include “paranoia, dangerously high body temperature, and irregular heartbeat, especially if taking high doses of stimulants or taking them in ways other than swallowing pills.”

Research also shows that people who abuse ADHD medications are very likely to have multiple substance use disorder.

Stimulant abuse has increased over the past two decades as more teens have been diagnosed and prescribed the drugs, experts say – study shows 1 in 9 high school students report receiving stimulants for ADHD, McCabe said.

Stimulants are an effective treatment for children with ADHD who use medication appropriately. They “protect the health of children,” Kamenga said. “Adolescents who were properly diagnosed and treated and monitored did very well — they had a lower risk of developing new mental health problems or new substance use disorders.”

McCabe emphasized that the solution to stimulant abuse among middle school and high school youth is not to limit drug use to kids who really need it.

Parents should use lockable boxes, count pills and stay on top of early prescription refills, experts say.

“Instead, we need to take a long, hard look at school strategies that are more or less effective in curbing stimulant substance abuse,” he said. “Parents can make sure their child is attending a school with secure drug storage and strict dispensing policies. And ask about the prevalence of abuse – every school has data.”

Families can also help by talking to their children about how to deal with peers who approach them and want a pill or two for a party or an all-night study, he added.

“You’d be surprised how many kids don’t know what to say,” McCabe said. “Parents can role-play with their children and let them choose what to say so they can be prepared when things happen.”

parents and guardians He added that controlled medications should always be stored in locked boxes and one should not be afraid to count pills and get refills in a timely manner.

“Finally, if parents suspect abuse of any type, they should contact their child’s prescriber immediately,” McCabe said. “That child should be screened and evaluated immediately.”

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