Kevin Gilliland featured in Dallas Morning News Today!

“Stimulant Abuse: Danger of ‘study drugs’ detailed” in the Dallas Morning News

High school and college often offer a highly competitive academic environment, leading students to search out ‘study drugs’ like Adderall, Ritalin, and Vyvanse.  By taking these stimulants, they hope to obtain the tunnel-vision focus for studying and test taking. “For ADD and ADHD patients, these medications have calming effects. But for those without that chemical imbalance, these ‘study drugs’ energize users,” said Kevin Gilliland, executive director of Innovation 360. “Prescription drugs are the third most commonly abused drug behind alcohol and marijuana.”

The danger is that the use of stimulants like Adderall can lead to further drug use. Adderall is commonly viewed as a gateway drug, and college students who have used Adderall without a prescription are more likely to have used cocaine than others their age. “About 10 percent of teens nationwide have tried Ritalin or Adderall without doctor authorization,” according to the article.  And passing these prescription stimulants on to friends so they can study with a higher level of focus is a felony. There are other risks too, according to Gilliland. Stimulants like Ritalin increase heart rate and body temperature and put users at higher risks for seizures, strokes, and heart attacks.

The counselors at Innovation 360 would warn parents that prescription stimulant abuse among teens is more common than they may think. Gilliland would advise that parents talk about prescription medication use with their children when they speak to them about alcohol and drug abuse. Some warning signs that your child may be abusing “study drugs”:

  • Frequent talk about ‘pulling all-nighters’
  • Hostility
  • Sweating
  • Heart Racing
  • Suppressed appetite

For more information about our counseling and life development services at Innovation 360 please click here.

Blog written by Lauren Barnett, Outreach Coordinator at i360.

Dallas Morning News article written by Kira Witkin, July 24th of 2012. Metro Section B, page 1.

Thank you Kira for your wonderfully written article! We hope that it encourages parents to speak to their children about the risks associated with taking stimulants that are not prescribed to them.

 

 

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