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Nearly 50 percent of M.D.s believe diversion of ADHD stimulant medications among teens is a problem
Date:5/3/2014

lose weight (40 percent), get high (38 percent) or divert their stimulant medication to others (39 percent).

The study also showed that the majority of physicians received no training on prevention of prescription drug diversion in medical school (73 percent), residency (57 percent) or fellowship (51 percent).

When physicians were asked if there is a difference in the legal consequence of selling vs. giving away stimulant medication, 19 percent chose the wrong answer and 36 percent were unsure.

Dr. Adesman said that "in the eyes of the law, there is no difference between someone giving away a pill or selling one; they are both prosecuted as unlawful distribution of a controlled substance."

As far as health risks, he also noted that, "A patient taking an ADHD medication has been titrated up to a certain dose over time. If someone else takes another person's dose it can be risky because there is no health history and medication naivet can lead to potential risks, especially if there is an underlying heart condition.

"While many prevention strategies can be used to prevent diversion of stimulant medication informational brochures, a medication contract, pill counts, limiting pill quantities, counseling and other methods, our research showed that while doctors are encouraged to use many of these strategies, most MDs don't believe the strategies to be effective," Dr. Adesman said. "It is important that physicians treating patients with ADHD are continually educated about stimulant diversion problems and become active in mitigating this from happening."


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Contact: Betty Olt
bolt@nshs.edu
516-465-2645
North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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