Online news just reported that some teens were arrested for selling prescription drugs. While this likely happens all over North America on a regular basis – it raises a very important issue and is thus worth reviewing.
Which medicines were these teens selling?
The short acting stuff.
Let’s get a few things straight:
* ADHD Medication is not addictive – if it is taken as prescribed.
* Treatment with ADHD medication has been proven to actually reduce the risk of drug addiction in adolescence/adulthood.
* The long acting stimulants are virtually not abusable (i.e. Concerta, Adderall XR, Metadate CD, Ritalin LA, etc.)
* The Daytrana patch is not abusable.
* The new prodrug Vyvanse is not abusable at all
* The non-stimulant Strattera is not abusable at all.
So why do kids buy ADHD medication for abuse?
If the short acting medicines are crushed and snorted – they can produce a ‘high’. In the Toronto area, a regular (short acting) Ritalin pill (of 10 mg) sells for approximately $5.
This is medically dangerous on many levels – not only is this unsupervised use of the medication, but generally teens will take a higher than recommended dose. This can cause cardiovascular issues.
What to do about this?
If you have a teen who has any history of substance abuse – including cigarettes, marijuana, or drinking, and he/she gets interested in taking their short acting Ritalin or Adderall – think of this article – and get suspicious!
I have experience with teens who realized that their dealer doesn’t want Concerta – so they come back to the doctor with a story about how they want short acting Ritalin. It is not necessarily for their ADHD – they may see it as an easy way to pay for their habits with marijuana or other street drugs.
If you are able to – get your child/teen onto one of the newer medications which is not abusable at all.
Please share your thoughts or comments below.
p.s. To get all of the information that you need to know about Medication for ADD and ADHD, visit: Medication Mastery