Prescription Simulants Often Abused by Teens

Prescription stimulants are often used to treat disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Drugs like amphetamine-dextroamphetamine (Adderall) and methylphenidate (Ritalin) help people with ADHD feel calmer and more focused. They can also be used to narcolepsy.

But these drugs can also be abused. When they are used improperly, stimulants can harm a person’s health.

These drugs are easy to come by, too. Teenagers can often get them from classmates or friends with prescriptions. In fact, among high school seniors, amphetamines are the third most commonly used illicit drug.

The Dangers of Misuse

People abuse stimulants for many reasons. Some might use them to stay awake. Others use them to improve focus or to lose weight. And some people use them to get high.

Stimulant drugs increase blood pressure, breathing, heart rate and body temperature. They make it harder to sleep and make you less hungry. Over time, these effects can be dangerous. In fact, abuse can lead to:

  • Fevers and headaches
  • Feelings of anxiety, hostility and paranoia
  • Malnutrition
  • Irregular heartbeat, heart attack or stroke
  • Dangerously high body temperature
  • Seizure, tremors and muscle twitching


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