I’ve been hearing about this for years from my youngest son, who’s just graduating college. He’s done it too..even asking the psychiatrist treating him for depression and anxiety to prescribe Adderall when the academic pressure got intense (fortunately his Doctor declined his request). The temptation must be enormous, the lack of judgment about consequences equally so. It only gets harder being a parent these days. Moms and Dads of teens, take a deep breath, keep informed and TALK to your kids about all of it…look for other options together, get him/her help with study habits or tutors, discuss the down side, such as stimulant dependency, the wear and tear on the brain when stimulants are used this way. Take it on as a family challenge. Don’t look the other way.
The drug was not cocaine or heroin, but Adderall, an amphetamine prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder that the boy said he and his friends routinely shared to study late into the night, focus during tests and ultimately get the grades worthy of their prestigious high school in an affluent suburb of New York City. The drug did more than just jolt them awake for the 8 a.m. SAT; it gave them a tunnel focus tailor-made for the marathon of tests long known to make or break college applications.
Read the whole story on today’s New York Tim.es..