ADHD, which is also known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a condition which is commonly seen among young people, particularly males. Those with this condition display a difficulty concentrating, as well as impulse control. Many find it difficult to sit still and listen, which makes it challenging for them to complete school related challenges. Researchers have developed medications which can be used to treat ADHD, but because of the properties associated with these medications many students who do not suffer from ADHD are abusing them. If ADHD medication abuse is not treated in time, it may lead serious consequences to their health and well-being.
Types of ADHD Medications
A growing number of teenagers and young adults are using ADHD medications to get high. These drugs are popular because they are stimulants which enhance various areas of the brain, including neurotransmitters. When these drugs are taken as prescribed, they help those with ADHD concentrate while reducing hyperactivity. However, as with any drug these ADHD medications have side effects, which can be amplified whenever the drug is used by someone who hasn’t been prescribed it.
Examples of popular ADHD medications include Ritalin, Concerta and Adderall. Parents of children who have ADHD must be extremely careful with these drugs to ensure that their child or their friends are not taking this medication without supervision.
ADHD Medication abuse
Drugs such as Ritalin and Concerta can be classed as a type of amphetamine. On the street these types of drugs are referred to as speed. While the correct dose of ADHD medications can be beneficial to teenagers that actually need them, these drugs are easy to abuse. The greatest danger however are teenagers who do not suffer from ADHD, but who still wish to get their hands on prescription drugs used to treat it.
There are a number of reasons why teenagers are involved in ADHD medication abuse. Because these substances enhance one’s ability to concentrate, teenagers or even college students who are under intense pressure to get high scores on tests may resort to using the drug so that they can remain awake for longer periods of time, or some may simply consume the drug for the purpose of getting high. Because the drug is legal it is easier to acquire than many street drugs, and doesn’t draw the same type of unwanted attention.
The Consequences of ADHD Drug Abuse
When ADHD medications are not used as prescribed, there are a number of consequences that can result. It is true that in the short term a teenager or college student may see enhanced mental performance. However, these drugs are stimulants which alter various aspects of the body such as blood pressure, temperature and heart rates, and can elevate them to levels which are hazardous. Additionally, these substances reduce both appetite and sleep, which is needed to remain healthy.
Both parents and doctors are the first line of defense in ensuring this drug doesn’t end up in the hands of those that are not supposed to have them. Doctors should make it clear to parents the dangers that are associated with abusing the drug, and should instruct them to lock up the medications whenever they are not in use.