Bad Idea to Share ADHD Medicine

Healthwise at 5: Bad Idea to Share ADHD Medicine
Published: Apr. 20, 2016 at 12:41 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 20, 2016 at 1:32 AM CDT
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - 62 percent of students with a valid prescription for ADHD medication say they have shared the pills with others who do not need the drug.

That's according to a study from the Journal of Addictive Diseases.

So you might think what harm can it do? If it helps one child focus, why wouldn't it help any child focus.

Bob Howell is an Addiction Counselor at the Ranch at Dove Tree. He says ironically, these attention stimulants have the opposite effect on someone who does not need the drug.

He explains, "Instead of being calming and increasing focus, it will produce a lot of excitation, a lot of difficulty focusing and a lot of animated type behavior and be counter-productive."

Bob says prescription medications for ADHD can include Adderall, Vyvanse, Ritalin, Concerta, and Focalin, all of which are classified as psychostimulants. He says young people and their parents should know that any of those pills can actually be dangerous if given without a prescription. All those stimulants will increase the heart rate, raise the blood pressure, and dilate the pupils among other things.

So, if your child does not have a prescription for an ADHD medication, but appears unusually agitated with dilated pupils, Bob Howell says that could be a sign that he or she has tried one of those pills after getting it from a friend or buying it from someone.

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