Adderall Prevention By Drake Olson

Adderall has recently became a very popular drug, both in the medical world and in our culture. Adderall is mostly known for it's ability to help people focus and stay up longer in order to complete homework or finish a deadline. While Adderall is highly associated with procrastinating college students worried about their dreams of being a doctor it is becoming more and more popular with elementary and middle school aged students. In fact, in a recent survey done by National Survey of Children's Health it tells us that 11.4% of children between the ages of eleven to fourteen have a diagnosis of ADHD, which has steadily increased for the past two decades. This is not a positive thing and I'd like to warn parents about the dangers of Adderall and other ADD medication. To start off, I would like to say I understand that you all want the best for your child and their future, that is a good thing and that is the best mindset to have. But I would like to have everyone keep in mind, that children are not supposed to enjoy math problems and they are supposed to be hyper and in constant play mode. Remember that life works itself out and in the end, Math problems really aren't the end all. But to begin with some information about Adderall, it is considered a Schedule II drug, in the same class as Morphine and Oxycodone. This places it above Schedule I drugs, such as Marijuana and Ecstasy. But it also puts it below Schedule III drugs, such as Vicodin and Anabolic steroids. I think this is where the biggest problem lies where people think Adderall is harmless, when it is considered just as dangerous as Morphine by the government, which we would never give to our child unless it is a very severe case. Or to even put in a different view, we are more concerned about kids smoking marijuana in middle school, yet the government lists Adderall as the bigger risk. The dangers of this drug is shown in an article done by John Hopkins University that states emergency room visits have gone up 156 percent in the last 6 years for stimulant related incidents. In the same article, Ramin Mojtabai, MD, PhD, states, "It also increases the risk for mental health problems, including depression, bipolar disorder and unusual behaviors including aggressive or hostile behavior." One of the biggest risks are the side effects that come along with Adderall. I can speak from personal experience when talking about the side effects, I have been diagnosed with ADD since I was 8 years old, and have been prescribed Adderall and it's variants(Ritalin,Focolin, and Concerta). Even after taking it for years I still feel the side effects and they can make my life much harder at times. For example, I often completely lose my appetite, become very moody and emotional, and find it hard to sleep after taking Adderall. This causes me to build my schedule around when I plan to take the pill. For example, I always eat breakfast before I take the pill or I won't take it after 5 pm. In severe cases, if I'm having a bad day I won't even take the pill because I don't want to become more moody. While this all sounds manageable, I mean taking the pill after breakfast isn't that hard to do, all of this starts to add up and take a toll. When you lose your appetite you end up losing weight, which is another common misuse of the pill. When you take it late and you can't sleep life doesn't rearrange it's schedule for you and you end up getting a lot less sleep than you should. You can imagine the effects if you take this everyday for a week and the lost hours of sleep and nutrients start to add up. To sum it up, I never feel like myself when I take my prescription and I'm never comfortable with myself while on it. So I would like you, the parents of your children to consider this, isn't a child who is hyper and more interested in cartoons than math better than a cranky, nutrient and sleep deprived child? Not to mention, I'm writing this from a perspective of an almost 20 year old college student, if it makes me have all these negative side effects we can probably assume it'd be worse for someone way younger and whom weighs less. So basically, I wouldn't blame you if you asked for an ADHD prescription, it could help your child a ton, but just don't think of it as a "fix all" pill and remember to think about the negatives, as well.

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