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“You kids better stay off those pediatric neuro-enhancing drugs!”

I’m not normally one to roll my eyes at new scientific findings, but this week I couldn’t help myself.

The American Academy of Neurology released a paper last week that discourages physicians from prescribing ADHD medications, such as Adderall or Ritalin, to children or teenagers who do not meet the diagnosis of the disorder.

Well, no kidding.

These drugs are being referred to as if they are steroids for teenagers who take them when they are not prescribed, labeled as “pediatric neuro-enhancements.”

Last I checked, popping an Adderall before an exam to help you focus doesn’t raise your IQ by 20 points.

However, health concerns have been mentioned, including the fact that Adderall and other amphetamine drugs are categorized as “Schedule II narcotics,” meaning that despite their legitimate uses for medical purposes, they have a high risk of addiction. Other drugs in this category? Opium, morphine, and cocaine.

The long-term effects of taking these medications, when they are not prescribed, have not yet been identified. Until then, it looks like our generation will have to be the guinea pigs.

What do you think about our society’s misuse of attention-boosting drugs?

Posted by on March 30, 2013. Filed under Around Campus. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.