Adderall abuse becoming more popular among teens

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by SHELLY SLATER / WFAA

kvue.com

Posted on June 16, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Updated Saturday, Jun 16 at 4:13 PM

DALLAS, Texas -- It's a little pill with a lot of power.

Adderall helps people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD, better focus on tasks. Yet, Amara Durham, with the drug and alcohol rehab center Caron Texas, said teens as young as 13 without the disorder are taking the drug.
 
“We are unfortunately seeing a lot of this," Durham said. "It use to be rare, and now it would be rare not to see it in any given month of admissions."

At issue are students under pressure, and parents pushing for success.
 
"This drug is in the same class as morphine and cocaine," she said. "We're changing their brain to get ahead, to get into an Ivy League school. That's a very big price to pay."
 
“It gives you a speed almost,” said Lindsay Brewer, who admitted to years of use to get by in school.

All it took was a quick questionnaire at the doctor's office and moments later she had the prescription in hand.
 
“I think it might be possible I have some ADD?” Brewer said.

“Probably not," she said when asked if she thought the questionnaire was enough for her to be prescribed such a powerful medication.
 
Doctors are giving out more ADHD medication than ever. For students 10 to 19, it is up 26 percent since 2007, according to IMS Health, a health care information company.
 
“People would ask me, 'Can I try some? Can I take some? I have this test coming up, can I try some of yours?'” Brewer said.
 
The pills sell for as little as $5 a piece. Brewer said people are not too shy to talk about it, even on Twitter.
 
“[Hashtag] Adderall problems, stuff like that," she said. "People talk about it on social media."
 
Durham said learning to manage stress is the issue, not just for the kids, but with the parents pushing them every step of the way.
 
“We can't just treat the child," Durham said. "We have to treat the entire family. This illness, addiction, is a family disease."

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