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Some Kids Share Ritalin With Classmates

Monday, 03 November 2008 16:50
Ritalin abuse is on the rise, with many youngsters selling or giving away their prescribed medication to classmates,  according to a 1998 survey of 13,549 students in grades 7, 9, 10 and 12 in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward  Island, Newfoundland and Labrador. The students were asked about their medical and non-medical use of stimulants including Ritalin, Benzedrine, Dexedrine, Cylert, diet pills, "speed," "uppers," "bennies" and "pep pills."

Results showed that "Of the 5.3% of students who  reported medical use of stimulants in the 12 months before the survey, 14.7% reported having given away some of their medication, 7.3% having sold some of their medication, 4.3% having experienced theft and 3.0% having been forced to give up some of their medication. Non-medical stimulant use by students who did not have a prescription for stimulants was significantly related to increased numbers of students who gave or sold some of their prescribed stimulants, at both the school class and individual student levels."

Medical and nonmedical stimulant use among adolescents: from sanctioned to unsanctioned use   CMAJ 2001 (Oct 16);   165 (8):   1039-1044 Poulin C