Q. I think
my 13-year old is getting Ritalin from peers at school. I
am going to confront her, but what are the dangers of this,
besides the need to get high?
Ritalin is a medication prescribed by a physician for a specific
person with a specific set of symptoms (usually Attention
Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder). It is very dangerous to take
anyone else's medication. Dosages are computed for a specific
person whose size, age, weight and symptoms are not those
of your daughter.
In children who
exhibit symptoms of ADHD, Ritalin acts as a calming agent
enabling these children to focus and concentrate on the task
at hand. In children and others who do not need the medication,
Ritalin is a stimulant.
You must first
address the danger of taking other people's medication (both
for her and for the person who won't have enough of their
medication!) Then, perhaps with a trained counselor, try to
find out what's behind taking a drug that will change the
way her brain works. Let her know that it's not o.k. to "get
high" and what the consequences will be if she takes
this or any other drug not prescribed for her. Then be vigilant.
No sleepovers, no unsupervised parties or excursions until
you feel comfortable. No negotiating about this. It's too
us your parenting questions concerning kids and drugs.
See more Ask
A Parent questions.