Becca is a 16 year-old from West Palm Beach, FL. She loves to cook and travel, and she would like to study International Business in the future.
During one of the International Baccalaureate exams in May, a girl in the junior class vomited. It wasn’t because of food poisoning, regular test anxiety, or anything else expected. Rather, it was because she had taken multiple Adderall pills the night before and she finally felt the effects during test time.
Prescription drugs have become much more popular among teens in recent years. Students now seek out medication intended for individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Because stress levels in school have increased immensely, kids are looking for any way to make their lives easier.
Since the chemicals in Adderall and Ritalin are designed to treat ADD and ADHD, teens buy them when they need help focusing. The latest trend has been using these medications before and during standardized testing to try to boost scores. In highly competitive environments, there is a constant pressure to do whatever it takes to succeed. Instead of using drugs to relax, teens are now also using drugs to be productive. Medical professionals widely prescribe these drugs for young adults, so their availability makes them even more appealing. Teens also snort Adderall and Ritalin as an alternative to cocaine or other illicit drugs, thinking that they are much safer and pose little harm simply because of the fact that they are prescription.
However, Adderall and Ritalin have many of the same side effects as cocaine when they are inhaled, and the chemical makeup of the medications can be harmful on their own. Snorting the drugs can lead to an irregular heartbeat and problems with circulation, as well as respiratory problems. The chemicals in the drugs can lead to depression, anxiety, irregular behavior, and a wide variety of other side effects depending on the individual. The fact remains that prescription drugs are only intended for certain people, and that those who abuse these medications can face drastically damaging results.
Many teens are simply looking for the quick and easy way out. Adderall and Ritalin provide them with this luxury and have therefore become an integral part of daily life for a growing number of individuals. While the medications can and should be used to treat certain patients that require the prescription, steps should be taken to ensure that they are not abused. It is just too easy for teens to acquire these pills and make them a part of their regular routine.