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Children and Drugs. How to Prevent This? 

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Children all across the United States are becoming drug addicted without even realizing it. Prescription stimulants for disorders such as ADHD and Narcolepsy, comes with responsibilities, and needs better regulations in America. These medication are only prescribed in two countries, the UK and the US. This doesn’t stop corporations from making billions off of a drug induced society. Unfortunately, a large percent of these medications are being prescribed to children and young adults. These drugs are very addictive and children can learn to depend on medication. This is only seen as a bonus for big companies making money on drug sales. Not only can the prescribed patients become dependents, but so can their peers who feel the need to use drugs in order to remain competitive in school, work, and athletic environments. The first thing that needs to be looked at is the amount of prescriptions made every year.

The disorder that tallies up the most prescriptions of the stimulant variety a year, is ADHD. ADHD is an acronym for attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder. The symptoms for ADHD are very inclusive and could be any form of inability to pay attention or a tendency for impulsive behavior. This has become a problem because, for the most part, children aren’t wise and logical thinkers. How does the parent of a child know the difference of ill mannered and ill minded? The typical fix to these attention disorders is stimulant medication. Studies on stimulant treatment in adolescence became popular in the nineteen-sixties. It did not take long before stimulants became one of America’s most used medications of all time.

Some popular stimulant medications would be Adderall or Ritalin. In nineteen-seventy, the United States DEA estimated that 150,000 of American children were prescribed and taking stimulant medication. The amount of U.S adolescence on these medications more than tripled by 1987. In 1987 a national survey was made estimating that about 750,000 children were taking these drugs. Legal drug production rates in America still haven’t slowed till this day. Every year big drug corporations push out more volume of medications of all varieties. America accounts for five percent of the world’s population but yet it produces eighty-three percent of the worlds stimulant medication.

According to the Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System (ARCOS) for amphetamine, methylphenidate, lisdexamfetamine, and D-methamphetamine, in 2006, the annual amphetamine production was 7.94 metric tons. By 2016, just ten years later that number had climbed to 19.97 Metric tons. In 1995, 10.41 metric tons of methylphenidate was produced. By 2012 that number had hit 19.93 metric tons; a record peak of methylphenidate production. The production of these drugs will continue on this path of ever increasing production rates. Big companies such as Novartis and Shire make millions on the populations drug use. In 2013 alone, americans spent 20.3 billion dollars on ADHD medication. This number was higher than that of money spent on asthma, anxiety, and depression combined. Regardless if those substances are being abused or not, companies continue to manufacture larger quantities of stimulants every year. Although stimulants may provide some medical benefits, we need to regulate them better. ADHD may be a real disorder but doctors need to become more particular on who gets prescribed. More so than any demographic, doctors need to avoid prescribing to adolescence.

Even though people try to do good for their children, it does not always turn out as planned. Unfortunately medication is truthfully another term for drug. Drugs have a reputation for abuse. In 2006, it was estimated by the ARCOS that about two percent of children ages twelve through seventeen had non-medically taken a stimulant. People ages twenty-six and older were found to be no better, with over double the abuse rate. Seventy-one percent of the kids had engaged in a form of delinquent behavior. Studies also found that twenty-three percent of adolescents who had non-medically taken a stimulant medication had a serious depressive episode.

On the other hand kids who had not abused the substances only had 8.1% in their group to have an episode. Then from 2011 to 2013 stimulant abuse among this age group rocketed from 6.6% to 8.2%. It is safe to say that even when intending to do good, harm can be done. These drugs have abusive potential. People that abuse drugs tend to partake in illegal actions. Even if kids escape trouble they may never escape the depression and anxiety caused from abusing stimulants. Parents should not be so quick to wash some pills down their child’s throat as a quick fix to impulsive behavior. America should help these young people from being armed with drugs. Children should be free from the worries of medication until they are old enough to face life on their own terms.

Why do these drugs have such a high abuse rate? People believe that by taking medications non-medically they can earn an edge on their competitors. Whether it is in school, work, or athletics people believe that using these drugs can help them work harder and longer. For some people this temptation is too much. In Logan, Utah, there was a mother named Sunny Morrisette, who unfortunately sold her neighbor kids cigarettes for these pills. When Sunny was questioned on her actions, she stated that she “had heard good things” about the drug. Even a mother can give into the temptations of drugs. It was suggested by an analysis on the National Survey on Drugs and Health (NSDH) that one in twenty stimulant users are dependant or use the drug excessively. Another study found by the NSDH, was that drug abuse was most prevalent around exam times among college and high school students. Among these students, it was found that women were more likely to turn to performance enhancing drugs then the men. These students believed by abusing medications that they could achieve a better score on tests. The woman also believed it would help them lose weight. In sports, people use all kinds of stimulants from caffeine to herbal remedies and even to amphetamines.

These amphetamines and like medications are banned in NCAA and Olympic sports events. If these drugs are banned for some of the healthiest people on earth then why should kids be allowed to take them? These drugs are creating a major social problem for future generations. As kids grow up and their peers begin to use substances, it will be likely for them to follow suit. When kids feel they are not as capable because of a pill, they will seek to use it medically or non-medically.

All in all, stimulants are overused in many different ways. No matter what use society finds for these medicines, big corporations will always benefit from their sales. ADHD medicine is misdiagnosed due to a broad symptom list. Companies continue to make more and more drugs every year. Everyone from parents, to children, and athletes will find a way to abuse drugs. Whether it is for a physical and mental high or performance enhancement, people abuse medication. This needs to come to an end soon before it becomes way worse than it already is. America has been on a fast tract in the wrong direction and needs to turn around. Mother liberty needs to protect her children and keep them drug free.

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