ADHD Drugs for Better Concentration
Some college students have been taking attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin to stay focused and study for longer periods, despite not suffering from the condition. Experts say the practice, known as academic doping is dangerous and can cause dizziness, loss of appetite, heart attack and stroke.
"If you have the diagnosis of ADHD, the medicines can help a lot," pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says. "But if you don't have the diagnosis, and you take these medications, they increase your chance of depression later on. They are uppers, and if your body gets used to them, you take a nosedive."
It's not just students who are asking for the drugs, however. Pediatricians say that more parents are encouraging academic doping. "I have some patients that I could tell weren't being totally honest with me about their symptoms," Dr. Jim says. "[Parents say], 'It's helping his brother. I want him on it, too.'
"When they start running out of their pills too soon, and they're asking for refills too soon, I know they are giving their pills to somebody else," Dr. Jim adds.
"Parents: it's irresponsible. It's dangerous to try to get your kids to take ADHD meds so they do better in school," ER physician Dr. Travis Stork says. "[For] a parent, it's unconscionable, to me, to go to a doctor and [say], 'I want my kid on ADHD meds so they can get As in school."
Prescription Drug Abuse
The misuse and abuse of prescription medications is a growing problem among young adults. One in five teens in America reports to having used prescription drugs to get high, and more people abuse prescription medication than heroin, cocaine and ecstasy combined. Watch a clip from Current TV's documentary, The OxyContin Express, to see how easily available the pills are.
Current TV correspondent Mariana Van Zeller explains that Florida is the largest state in the country without a prescription drug monitoring program. "It means that people from all over the country are going to Florida. It's sort of become the source state of these prescription pills," Mariana says. "It's known as the Columbia of prescription pills.
"A bottle of pills that would cost you $500 at a pain clinic in Florida, you can sell it for $5,000 in Kentucky or Massachusetts," she adds.
Misusing Animal Tranquilizers
Ketamine is a tranquilizer used on on large animals, such as horses, but some people have been using the drug to get high. Current TV exposes the dangerous trend.
Side Effects of Using Ketamine
- Impaired judgment
- High blood pressure
- Severe respiratory problems
The Doctors discuss the dangers of abusing Ketamine.
Playing with Fire
On average, every 31 minutes somebody in the United States is injured in a fire. A new trend among teens is lighting their clothes or body on fire, including the hair and groin, and using aerosol spray to create larger flames.
"I guarantee you, if you took these kids to a burn unit, and they witnessed second and third-degree burns, that they would think twice," plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon says.
"They're kids, and kids are going to do that. They don't have mature brains, so they're going to do things that are stupid. They're going to try things, try and push the limit," OB-GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson says. "And that's where it's scary. These are our children, and you can't watch them 24 hours [a day]. Somehow, parents have to be educated about the potential of things and what's around, because [kids] are going to do stupid things."
Oaksterdam University isn't your ordinary college. It is America's first cannabis college, providing students with education and training for the cannabis, or marijuana, industry. In addition to teaching local, state and federal cannabis laws, the school also educates students on the science of marijuana and horticulture, or how to grow their own plants.
Priscilla, 25, is a student at Oaksterdam University. She decided to attend the school after becoming a medical marijuana patient due to a motorcycle accident. "I researched alternative ways to treat myself and found that cannabis was the most therapeutic for my condition," she says. "It was at that point, I decided to enroll into Oaksterdam to not only learn how to be a safe and responsible patient, but also to learn about the industry and how to become part of it."
Dale Clare, executive chancellor of Oaksterdam University, explains that the school also teaches its students how to correctly dose the drug for medicinal use.
"What we try to do is teach what's called titration. It's self-dosing," she says. "Use just enough to feel the desired effects to help the pain or to sleep, and then stop, repeat as necessary and don't overmedicate. Also, just to learn how to understand your own body and how cannabis interacts with the body."
Dr. Travis says that while medical marijuana is beneficial to many patients, it is often far too easy to get a prescription for. "We do need to have a better way of dosing it," he says. "The reality is that it's out there, we've got to be safe with it. Education is key, no matter what."