The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) has made a stand on the misuse of attention-boosting drugs for mentally healthy kids who are trying to boost their grades.
They say it is a misuse of the drugs and are strongly discouraging doctors from participating in the practice of giving drugs to healthy kids. They assert that a doctor has the duty to promote a child’s authentic development, and they went even further by saying that doctors need to protect children from coercion from parents or peers.
Teens refer to them as “study drugs”
A trend of parents asking doctors to prescribe ADHD medications for their mentally healthy children has been noticed. Prescribing the attention-boosting drugs may give teens an advantage and higher grades. For some parents and students, the possibility of better grades is worth the risk of medical side effects.
“Doctors caring for children and teens have a professional obligation to always protect the best interests of the child, to protect vulnerable populations, and prevent the misuse of medication,” said William Graf, MD, of Yale University, a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “The practice of prescribing the drugs, called neuroenhancements, for healthy students is not justifiable.”
Use of drugs is misguided
Mind-enhancing drugs are not needed by healthy people. Many people who are tracking the increased number of ADHD prescriptions now believe that some percentage of those prescriptions are for healthy kids trying to boost grades. There is also a belief that such drug use leads to other recreational drug use. As evidence they point to the increased number of ADHD med overdoses in emergency rooms.
“The physician should talk to the child about the request as it may reflect other medical, social or psychological motivations such as anxiety, depression or insomnia,” Graf said. “There are alternatives to neuroenhancements available, including maintaining good sleep, nutrition, study habits and exercise regimens.”
Source: MedicalNewsToday, AAN