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The Kid's Doctor: Good Grades with Medication?

School is officially back in session, which can bring a whole host of problems for young people. One of those is the work to get good grades and what some students will resort to for results.
There is a lot of pressure placed on students to succeed and many of them are turning to the "good grade pill". What is it? Prescription stimulants that are commonly used to treat children with ADHD. Teens that have not been diagnosed with ADHD have figured out that with the help of these stimulants, they can focus and improve their grades. During that last 5 years, I have seen more and more teenage patients coming to me with complaints of "having ADHD". These are successful teens who are now in competitive high schools or colleges. In most of the cases, there have never been any previous complaints of difficulty with focusing. They are students who have to work harder to keep their grades up. Stimulant medications are useful when used appropriately. Many of these drugs are over-prescribed and are being abused. The problem is growing and parents need to stop placing too much pressure on children. Doctors need to be vigilant in deciding when stimulant medications are appropriate. It is a slippery slope, but the number of teens obtaining stimulants illegally is on the rise. Teens know this is a quick fix to getting good grades. It may help their grades for the short term, but what does their long-term future look like? I'm Dr. Sue with The Kid's Doctor helping parents take charge.
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