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Taking Unneeded Prescription Drugs

My son’s friend is not ADHD but takes Adderall to improve his test scores. Other classmates are doing the same. I’m worried my son is at a disadvantage with college entrance exams coming. Are there risks if my non-ADHD son takes a drug like Adderall?

Answer:

I would strongly advise against your son taking any prescription drugs that he does not need.  Taking unnecessary prescription medication can be potentially harmful and have side effects.  Adderall is a stimulant and your son’s classmates have likely developed or will develop a dependency on it.  Side effects include: elevated blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature plus trouble sleeping and loss of appetite. Further, studies have shown that stimulants such as Adderall do not enhance learning or thinking ability when taken by people who do not actually have ADHD.  There is a clear dependency on this medication with long term effects of not achieving higher scores on exams.  Prescription drug abuse has also been show to lead to further, escalated illicit drug use, acting as a "gateway drug." 



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