11700094_sWhen it comes to substance use, parents have their plates so full dealing with issues of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana that they often forget about the prescription drugs that are circulating throughout schools these days like candy.

Abuse of amphetamines and stimulant drugs used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is becoming rampant for aiding focus and alertness when pulling all-nighters and studying for midterms and finals. An article presented by PsychCentral uncovers data from a recent Monitoring the Future survey that puts nonmedical use of study drugs at 10 and 12 percent for sophomores and seniors respectively. However, data from a new University of Michigan study shows that only one percent of parents with kids of high school age think that their children have partaken in this trend.

Experts warn that taking medications prescribed for another individual can be very dangerous and may result in abnormal heart rate, sleep problems, confusion and even psychosis when going through periods of withdrawal. Dr. Matthew M. Davis who heads the Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health for whom the University of Michigan study was conducted, says that despite popular thinking, there is no correlation between study drugs and the achievement of better grades.

The key study take away is the disconnect that exists between what students are reporting and what parents believe about their children. No parent likes to think that his or her child might be engaging in substance abuse, but combatting these issues starts with open communication regarding the dangers of such misuse. The study indicated that the majority of Caucasian parents were “very concerned” about nonmedical use of prescriptions, even if they were unable to identify them in their children, while figures for black and Hispanic/Latino parents were slightly lower.

Behavioral problems and lack of focus and concentration can be indicators of something more than just study jitters. Learn the facts about mental illness. How might someone in your family benefit from a mental health screening provided by the Family Guidance Center? For more information about symptoms of emotional disorders, call or click today.