Stop, look, listen

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 1, 2004

I was listening to the evening news one night last week and heard a report on the drug Adderall.

This has apparently become the new stimulant for those kids looking for a quick high. The drug, prescribed for those patients with Attention Deficit Disorder, is being traded, stolen or sold to young people to get high. This craze is occurring across the country and whether we want to admit it or not it’s probably occurring right here at home.

If our young people didn’t have enough things already out there to deter them from what they are suppose to be doing, now we have to deal with a drug that were originally designed to assist children with learning disabilities.

That’s all they need is something to supposedly stimulate them. Some of these young folks are already stimulated to a point where you can’t understand what they’re saying, what they’re doing and exactly why they are doing it.

The young people interviewed during the news report talked about how the drug kept them focused and helped with their studies, but when the reporter looked at the actual grades one young man had achieved, he was actually failing. He was doing worse after starting the &uot;get high quick&uot; then he was before he started. He argued that he was &uot;focused&uot; now and could concentrate, but the facts were just the opposite. If you could have seen the report you would have wondered if he wasn’t stoned when he was talking with the news reporter. That kid didn’t know where he was, yet alone what he was saying or even doing. I guess for him any reason to take the drug was good enough.

They also called the drug the &uot;poor man’s cocaine&uot;, meaning it was easy and cheap to get. Can you imagine such a name for a drug and what that implicates? Some kids are selling their supply of the drug for a couple of dollars for each pill and all they have to do is go back to their doctors to get a refill. This is a little frightening too in that how much attention is being used in the dispensing of these drugs. If a child is starting to run out of their monthly supply a lot sooner than they should, somebody ought to be paying attention.

It never seems to fail. There is always something out there – new and improved – to get people high. In the early days there was liquor and then moonshine peeked through the cracks Then there was marijuana, speed and uppers and downers and then ice and crack. Let’s not leave out heroin and meth and haze and whatever else they’re calling drugs these days. There were date rape drugs and hundreds of other things that could be mixed or shaken together.

There are so many different drugs out there that are illegal and now we all have to deal with the ones you can get a prescription for. We know the painkillers have been used for years and people have been selling them on street corners, but now we have to worry about our 10 and 12-year-olds getting their &uot;high&uot; at school.

With all the other peer pressures, family conflicts, concerns about grades and other issues facing young people, how many kids will be sent to therapy because of their abuse of this drug?

How many young people will find themselves addicted to something they have no control over and trying to deal with school and home in the process? There has to be an answer and availability appears to be one for this drug. There has to be some type of monitoring system for those who suppose to have this drug and those who are not. There also has to be more parental responsibility as well. If your child’s grades start to decline, there’s a problem. If your child’s attitude changes along with their friends, you need to investigate. Even if you child’s eating and/or sleeping habits change, check it out.

It’s time to stop, look and listen. You need to pay attention. You may just be missing a clue that’s right in front of your eyes.