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FACT SHEET PUBLISHED BY THE FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES DIVISION By Jennifer Garza, Program Specialist Reviewed by: Dr. Aruna Weerasooriya Sabrina Simon January 2017

SCHOOL STRESS:

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Is Your Child Abusing Stimulants?

oday’s students are often stressed out from academic pressure, i.e. Advanced Placement classes, extracurriclar activities, and homework. Therefore, as a potential solution many often seek out unprescribed stimulants used for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Students seek stimulants to help them academically, however, studies reveal that stimulants do not increase learning abilities for those who are not diagnosed with ADHD but can lead to delirium, psychosis or even heart failure.

While some students use stimilants to alleviate school pressures, others use stimulants as a party drug. Most students feel that unprescribed drugs are still not as dangerous a street drugs since they were prescribed to someone by a doctor. The fact remains that stimulants are still considered controlled substances and are extremely accessible. Meanwhile, parents are unaware that their children may be involved in using stimulants or even selling them to other students. It is important to note that students are often using stimulants to cope with stress thus potentially leading to long term addictive behaviors rather than learning healthy ways of managing stress.

Five Suggestions to Prevent Rx Abuse

1. Talk to your Children

Let them know that they should not take medication that is not prescribed to them.

2. Hide your Medication

Keep all medications hidden not just in a medicine cabinet. This includes asking other family members to do the same.

3. Talk to your Doctor

Ask your doctor if any medication prescribed to you or your family has the potential for abuse.

4. Take Inventory

Keep track of all medications including over the counter medications. Pay close attention to quantities.

5. Prescribed Child Medications

If your child takes medication during school hours, take medication directly to nurses office. Secondly, request that any unused medication be returned to you.

This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, 1890 Extension Formula Program. The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA or NIFA. (References: US Department of Labor and The Mint) Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas 77446 * 936-261-5113

Strong, healthy families are the foundation of American communities, and family and community well-being is a shared priority of all Americans. Through research and education, the Prairie View A&M University Cooperative Extension Program’s Family and Consumer Sciences component help strengthen families and communities. Family and Consumer Sciences area of focus include Nutrition and Childhood Obesity, Food Safety, Health and Wellness, Parenting, Financial/Money Management, and Bullying.

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