Wednesday, March 25, 2015
A is for Adderall
Recently I was watching Good Morning America and a segment came on about how prescription drug abuse was increasing amongst teens in America. Amongst some of the most abused substances was Adderall, a prescribed stimulant that is used to treat ADHD. As a result of attending New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois I have definitely heard conversations about people taking this addictive substance without prescription because it is said to help you focus while doing school work. It is very prevalent in the community because parents are willing and able to spend money to get their children tested and medicated. These teens will often times deal Adderall and thus the prescription abuse issue is perpetuated.
An article done by The Partnership for Drug Free Kids highlights a study that is ongoing at the University of Michigan. The "Monitoring the Future Study" tracks teen drug abuse and revealed that non-medical Adderall abuse has increased by 7.4% this year. “The rates of Adderall misuse and abuse among high school students remains unacceptably high and the new data make it very clear: the abuse of all prescription medicines is an immediate threat to the health of America’s teens,” said Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. Pasierb is passionate about the fact that Adderall misuse has gone too far and another year of data must serve as a call to all families to address the issue of intentional medicine abuse.
After reading this article that bashed the effects of Adderall I wondered why do students even take it? Do the positives outweigh the potential health threat? Is there a true benefit to using this controlled substance?
An article written by "Iowa State Daily" suggests that similar to how steroids are used to give athletes a leg up in their field of expertise, Adderall may be doing the same thing for students in the classroom. Adderall should be considered a method of cheating when it comes to performance for people that are not prescribed the medication. Do you think students should be tested for these kinds of medications similarly to how athletes are tested for steroids?
This specific prescription drug abuse issue seems unique to townships with demographics similar to New Trier's. I believe that people are misusing '"study drugs" like Adderall as a way to cope with the high standards of our community. The expectation placed on us as student's by our peers and many adults around us is that we will attend top colleges after our time at New Trier is up.