There is a lot of pressure placed on students to succeed and many of them are turning to what teens call the "good grade pill". What is it? Prescription stimulants that are commonly used to treat children with ADHD. Teens that have not been diagnosed with ADHD have figured out that with the help of these drugs, they can focus and improve their grades. During that last 5 years, I have seen more and more teenage patients coming to me with complaints of "having ADHD". These are successful teens who are now in competitive high schools or colleges. In most of the cases there have never been any previous complaints of difficulty with focusing. All are typically A and B students but are now having to work harder to keep their grades up. Stimulant medications are useful when used appropriately. Many of these drugs are overprescribed and are being abused. The problem is growing and parents need to stop placing too much pressure on children and doctors need to be vigilant in deciding when stimulant medications are appropriate. It is a slippery slope, but the number of teens obtaining stimulants illegally is on the rise. Teens hear that this is a quick fix to getting good grades. It may help their grades for the short term, but what does their long term future look like? I'm Dr. Sue with The Kid's Doctor helping parents take charge.
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