Troubled Teen Options

Teen Drug Abuse And College

Teen drug abuse may start off casually enough. That is the way addicts always describe it. A joint here, a pill there. And drug use may stay relatively low key all they way through high school. But what was a minor problem when the teen was under the parent’s roof with minimal pressure can become a monkey on their back once they are turned loose on a college campus. Fact is, you may have been relieved to have dodged the bullet on having your teen on Ritalin only to find that he discovers how great it is, so he thinks, for studying in college. “Ten percent of college students use stimulants illegally at some point in their college years, a 2005 study by the University of Michigan Substance Abuse Research Center revealed, and many get them from friends who were legally prescribed the drugs. And according to the federal government’s Drug Abuse Warning Network, the number of emergency room visits stemming from illicit use of pharmaceuticals jumped 20 percent between 2004 and 2005. Experts fear the trend is only growing worse.


Drugs like Ritalin and Adderall are commonly prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a condition characterized by a brief attention span, impulsive behavior and excessive energy. At recommended doses, the medications heighten concentration and alertness. “Most students who use their friend’s stimulants do it to improve performance,” said Scott Teitelbaum, M.D., medical director of the Florida Recovery Center at UF. “It’s like athletes taking steroids the idea that you can study better, harder, longer, as if you were hitting a ball farther.” But the pills won’t make up for a semester of slacking off, said Teitelbaum.” (source)