Facts for Teachers
also known as stimulants, are mind-altering drugs that usually speed up
the body's functions, such as heart rate.
They are commonly known as
"uppers" because they elevate mood and increase energy.
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However, in children, stimulants have been known to do the exact
opposite. In children, stimulants are sometimes used to slow
the body down and reduce hyperactivity.
This is why psychostimulants are often prescribed to children labeled
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
As a teacher, you see many kids every day. Throughout your teaching,
you will probably encounter many children diagnosed with ADHD who are
currently taking psychostimulants to reduce unwanted
behaviors in the classroom.
You may already be familiar with some of these drugs. Common stimulants
used to in cases of ADHD include:
Parents may even contact you or your school with concerns about putting
their children on drugs for ADHD and disruptive behaviors.
Before giving any advice, it is important for you to know
the facts about psychostimulants.
Psychostimulants have many dangerous side effects
In the last few years, many drug companies have issued warnings about
side effects of psychostimulants, including:
- stunted growth
- violent behavior
- suicidal thoughts
- heart problems
- liver problems
- mood swings
- weight loss
- cardiac arrest
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) even posts warnings of "sudden
death" on boxes of Ritalin. Ritalin has been known to cause "sudden
death" in children and teens with heart problems.
Psychostimulants are addictive
effect of psychostimulants is addiction. After
some time, the body becomes addicted to the chemicals in the
When a person stops taking the drug, the body reacts to the sudden loss
of this chemical it has depended on
for so long. The results of this dependence include some
very disturbing side effects.
depression and suicide are two alarming side effects of psychostimulant
Some psychostimulants are classified as "Schedule II Narcotics"
Drug Enforcement Administration classifies Ritalin, Adderall,
and Dexedrine as schedule
II narcotics (schedule
here means "list"). These drugs are in the same category
cocaine, methamphetamines, and opium.
Schedule II narcotics are considered dangerous
because they are highly
addictive and often abused.
Fact 4: About 2.3 million
teens have abused psychostimulants
people buy and use psychostimulants without a prescription as
"performance enhancements" or to "get high."
Amphetamines, such as Adderall, are often abused in these ways.
Some street names for amphetamines are:
- LA turnaround
A 2012 study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that
over 2.5% of high school seniors
had abused Ritalin during that year. Almost 8% of high school
seniors abused Adderall.
Fact 5: Psychostimulants are often
a gateway drug to the abuse of other drugs
A "gateway drug" is a drug
that leads to abuse of more dangerous drugs, such as cocaine, heroine,
Studies have shown that teens who use psychostimulants are more likely
to abuse other drugs.
Click here to read more about the effects of psychostimulants:
Psychostimulants: The Facts about the Effects
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