Now schoolchildren are snorting their ADHD medication. Why didn't America see this coming?
The New York Times has finally woken up to America's biggest unacknowledged drug problem: the massive overprescription of the amphetamine drug Adderall for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Kids have been selling each other this powerful – and extremely moreish – mood enhancer for years, as ADHD diagnoses and prescriptions for the drug have shot up.
Now, children are snorting the stuff, breaking open the capsules and ingesting it using the time-honoured tool of a rolled-up bank note.
The NYT seems to think these teenage drug users are interested in boosting their grades. It claims that, for children without ADHD, "just one pill can jolt them with the energy focus to push through all-night homework binges and stay awake during exams afterward".
Really? There are two problems with this.
First, the idea that ADHD kids are "normal" on Adderall and its methylphenidate alternative Ritalin – gentler in its effect but still a psychostimulant – is open to question. Reading this scorching article by the child psychologist Prof L Alan Sroufe, who says there's no evidence that attention-deficit children are born with an organic disease, or that ADHD and non-ADHD kids react differently to their doctor-prescribed amphetamines. Yes, there's an initial boost to concentration, but the effect wears off – and addiction often takes its place.
Second, the school pupils illicitly borrowing or buying Adderall aren't necessarily doing it to concentrate on their work. They're doing it to get high.
Full article: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/da...e-this-coming/