More than a third of young people ages 10-18 believe prescription stimulant abuse is a big problem among their peers, this according to a recentsports survey.

You decide if this is a big problem from these numbers:

15% of those 10 to 18 years said they have used stimulants

10% said they have diverted medications*.

University of Florida researchers interviewed 11,000 teens in Seattle, Los Angeles, Denver, Houston, New York, and several other major cities. Of those surveyed, 7.5% said they had used stimulants (examples given included Adderall ** and Ritalin) in the last month, with 3.9% saying they took the drugs for non-medical reasons.

The way these teens were ‘studied’ includes being:

– shown photos of prescription drugs and prescription stimulants,

– asked if they knew what they were,

– asked if they used them, the reasons they take the drugs

– asked where they got them, how often they took the drugs.

 When the pre-teens and teens were asked how they would prevent teens from using other people’s prescriptions, they suggested requiring fingerprint machines that would allow prescription bottles to open and requiring that teens have their medications dispensed at the pharmacy. As I read this part of the study what came to my mind was the old adage, ‘from the mouth of babes’ oft time comes gems!

Some teens said that diverting medications couldn’t be prevented.


* Linda B. Cottler, PhD, MPH, chair of the Department of Epidemiology in the College of Public Health and Health Professions and the College of Medicine at University of Florida, presented these findings.

** an amphetamine Rx’ed for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD aka ADD)