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Stimulants being overprescribed to healthy children

According to the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), the increasingly common trend of neuroenhancement by young students is not good. Neuroenhancement is when healthy individuals rely on prescription drugs to increase their mental performance, and a study by AAN doctors claims that there are serious ramifications. Many students allegedly complain of symptoms commonly found in sufferers of hyperactivity disorders in order to gain doctor prescriptions for Adderall, an amphetamine, or similar stimulants. In some cases, doctors even prescribe these drugs upon patient request.

Hundreds of independent studies reviewed by the AAN also support the idea that stimulant use is rising among adolescent age groups. In addition to increases in reports of ADHD brought up by parents, almost 3 percent of 10th-grade students surveyed in 2008 admitted to taking stimulants without a doctor's prescription. Although AAN doctors admit that ADHD is a valid condition that medication can help with, they also point out that the preponderance of data serves as evidence that misdiagnosis and overdiagnosis are serious problems.

Misuse of stimulants, such as Adderall, may lead to medical risks such as cardiovascular issues, central nervous system problems and drug addiction. Improper administration and usage of medication may also lead to worsened patient conditions for existing medical problems.

Many of the ill-effects of misdiagnosis don't fully manifest until after the damage has already been done. Massachusetts residents who were incorrectly diagnosed with ADHD or other attention conditions may find themselves dependent on stimulants or even come to manifest serious physical and cognitive issues that require increased medical treatment. As a result, many seek the assistance of attorneys who could help them gain compensation.

Source: American Medical News, "Neurologists warn of prescribing stimulants to youths seeking better grades," Christine S. Moyer, March 18, 2013

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