Teens Who Share or Sell their ADHD Medications are Four Times More Likely to be Bullied

Teens Who Share or Sell their ADHD Medications are Four Times More Likely to be Bullied

According to a new report by University of Michigan researchers, teenagers taking drugs like Ritalin and Adderall for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are twice more likely to be bullied by their peers. The study showed four times increase in risk of bullying in teens in middle and high school who shared or sold their medications. In the study published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, researchers examined how prescription for stimulant medication affected peer victimization among kids with ADHD.

Researchers surveyed at least 5,000 students in middle and high school. About 15% of the participants were diagnosed with ADHD and roughly 4% took stimulants within the past 12 months. Researchers said that about 20% of kids who took ADHD medications reported that they approached to share or sell their medications with 50% reported that they was involved in the activity. Dr. Quyen Epstein-Ngo, one of the study's authors, said children with ADHD are not living in isolation and their disease continue to impact people they meet with as they grow older with age.

Parents have been asked to warn their children not to share their medications as the ADHD medications are classified in the same category as drugs such as morphine and cocaine by the Drug Enforcement Agency. Dr. Timothy Wilens, of the Massachusetts General Hospital, said the findings should serve as a wake-up call to educators, health care providers and parents.


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