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NIDA. (2009, November 24). Rx Drug Abuse. Retrieved from

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Sara Bellum
November 24 2009
Girls talking in a small group

Have you ever wondered about whether medications prescribed by a doctor could actually be dangerous? Or whether giving a friend a prescription pill you take for ADHD could be bad for them?

Sometimes, people assume that if your doctor prescribes you medications, then they are safe for anyone. Prescription drugs, like Ritalin or Adderall for ADHD, or Tylenol 3 or Percocet for pain, can be extremely effective when used as prescribed…by the people they were prescribed for.

But people who have not been seen by a doctor for these conditions are asking friends to share their drugs for a variety of reasons. For example, Adderall and Ritalin belong to a class of drugs called stimulants—that is, they stimulate your brain and make you feel more alert. Teens might think that's an advantage when taking a test at school. However, that kind of use is actually drug abuse, and can hurt you.

Check out the November issue of Glamour magazine for stories of women who have taken these drugs—both as prescribed and not—and see what they experienced as a result (NIDA's Director, Dr. Nora Volkow was interviewed as a subject expert). And check out the facts about prescription drug abuse on NIDA for Teens.