Stimulant Medication Abuse in Teens
A couple months back, I posted information on how to recognize the signs of stimulant medication abuse. Today, a new study is being released with some shocking new numbers. Calls to poison control centers about this problem have jumped 76% over eight years.
According to the study, which is to appear in the August issue of Pediatrics magazine:
- The poison control center is now getting 581 calls annually from parents, ER doctors and others on how to deal with stimulant medication abuse.
- 42% of teens abusing this medication had moderate to severe side effects. Many needed ER or other medical treatment.
- 19% of teens have abused some type of prescription medication (including but not limited to ADHD medications)
Although information from the study did not include whether the teens abusing the medication had ADHD and had been prescribed the medication, some information indicated that at least some of the teens had not been diagnosed.
This study does not indicate that parents should stop giving teens ADHD medication if they have been diagnosed and prescribed stimulant medication. It does, however, mean parents should be vigilant in making sure the medications are taken as prescribed and by the person (and only that person) they have been prescribed for.
For more information on how to recognize signs of stimulant abuse and what parents can do about it: