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Selling or Sharing Your ADHD Meds

Selling or Sharing Your ADHD Meds

Consequence of Selling or Sharing Your ADHD Meds
This is a good time to Get Smart!

This post was developed in collaboration with Adlon Therapeutics L.P, a subsidiary of Purdue Pharma L.P. Personal opinions expressed within this post are my own.

“Can you hook me up? I have an exam.”

College students sometimes refer to stimulants misused and abused casually, as if it were completely normal.  There has been a level of acceptance that sharing this type of drug to improve academic success is “Ok.”  In this article, you will hear the high risks at stake – including why misuse is never OK and how it can negatively affect academic, career and life success. A personal story from a college student who would like to warn people of the grave consequences and just how serious it can get is worth reading and sharing.

The pressure is on to do well in school for many students and some are willing to cross the line and look for a little help from friends to get “study drugs.”  A scenario might go like this:  Sarah and Joe, two friends, are studying for a massive exam coming up and one of them happens to have ADHD and a prescription for a stimulant that helps them focus.  It can be an innocent sharing of information at first.   “I forgot to take my meds today and I cannot focus on anything!”  The other student starts to ask questions about how medication helps them and, the next thing you know, he/she asks to try the medication to see if it will help them too.  Though sharing prescription medication may seem like a simple act, it is considered a federal crime. Stimulant medication used to treat ADHD are classified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as Schedule II controlled substances under the federal Controlled Substances Act. (21 U.S.C. § 812.). Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.[1],[2],[3]

Under the Controlled Substances Act, a person convicted of selling or attempting to sell Schedule II controlled substances near a school, including a college, or other areas where young people may be present faces twice the maximum prison sentence, twice the maximum fine, and twice the term of supervised release. (21 U.S.C. 860.).[4]

Drug trafficking laws often impose mandatory minimum sentences. This means that a person convicted must serve a specified amount of time and cannot be released on parole until that time has passed. If, for example, you are sentenced to 10 years in prison for drug trafficking and your state has a three-year mandatory minimum, you cannot be paroled before you finish serving at least three years in prison. If this does not convince you that prescription ADHD medication is something you should keep locked up and not share with anyone, perhaps the following true story will be an eye-opener.

A study published by the Journal of Psychiatry in 2010 found of students prescribed a medication, 35.8% diverted (gave away, sold or traded) a medication at least once in their lifetime. The most commonly diverted medication classes were prescription ADHD stimulants, with a 61.7% diversion rate.[5]

In 2018 Attention Talk Radio Host, Jeff Copper, interviewed a college student who shared his story of sharing and selling his ADHD medications. As a consequence, he spent years tangled up in the legal system.

It all started when a girl asked him to share his prescription stimulant medication to help her study for an exam.  From that moment on, the girl came back for more and more.  It eventually spiraled out of control and news of his willingness to sell his prescription medication spread to another student who was dealing, on a larger scale, a variety of drugs.

When it comes to illegal endeavors, many seemingly “good things” come to a not-so-good ending. This student’s story was no different.   The guy he was selling and trading his entire prescription to became a federal suspect target who got busted on multiple charges of drug trafficking. He struck a deal to lighten his own legal entanglement by becoming an informant.   He was being charged for dealing felony class drugs and agreed to wire and tape himself buying drugs from the college student as part of a plea bargain.  The unsuspecting college student woke up one morning to a life-changing raid happening in his dorm room.  His dorm and life were turned completely upside down as the feds seized everything he owned.  The impact and reality of what he had been doing came to full light with shame, guilt and humongous regret.  The fast money was as over as he explained in detail what happened during the raid:

“They put me in handcuffs, then half of the officers went up to my dorm room and tore it apart – pulled everything out of the cabinets, flipped the bed, and tore a stuffed animal I had to shreds. When the search was finished, they took me to the local station, took my prints, mug shots, and put me in a holding cell.  At that point, I realized this was really real. I’m in big trouble, the likes of which I had never seen in my life.”

In the end, he navigated through the strain it put on his self-esteem, family relationships, education and financial pocketbook with a good lawyer and a lot of personal growth.  It took years to recover from the legal entanglement. During that time, through many hours of self-reflection with counselors and outdoor wilderness therapists’ guidance, he got in touch with how he wanted to live his life in the future. Luckily for him, he has been able to do it without serving jail time.  He came forward to share his story so others may learn from his experience.  Giving away that first pill as a study drug – which he viewed as a seemingly harmless action – led to life-changing events that he could have never imagined. He was looking at two felony counts of trafficking a controlled substance, which carried mandatory minimums of 1 to 7 years in prison each. This meant, if he was convicted of both sentences, he would have been serving a minimum mandatory of 2 to 14 years in prison.

Here is what his takeaway was:

“The biggest lesson I learned right away was just how wrong that lackadaisical attitude toward ADHD medication is – in high school, at college, or at work.”

Unfortunately, this student’s story is not unique. Even when used as prescribed by properly diagnosed patients, prescription stimulants carry risks that must be considered, such as misuse, abuse, and diversion.[6] These risks are a big reason why clinicians are asked to closely monitor their patients. This includes accurate diagnosing, observing for the potential misuse of prescribed stimulants, educating patients about the risks of misuse and diversion, and limiting prescriptions to a 30-day supply.[7],[8]

Currently, strategies and tools for physicians are being developed, aiming to engage patients in the responsible use of their prescribed stimulant medications. Here is a great educational video that shows the potential risk of sharing medication and how it can be avoided with thoughtful choices by Ben, a college student.

https://adlontherapeutics.com/supporting-responsible-stimulant-use/ben/

For more information on sharing ADHD medications, read my previous blog entitled Sharing ADHD Medication: Should you, or Shouldn’t You? go to: https://www.razcoaching.com/sharing-adhd-medications/

Michelle R. Raz, M.A. Ed., is a professional executive function coach and educational consultant. She specializes in helping people with executive function challenges associated with ADHD be the best version of themselves in their academic and career journeys.

 

[1] U.S. Food & Drug Administration. CFR – Code of Federal Regulations Title 21. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=1308
[2] Drug Enforcement Administration. Drug Scheduling. https://www.dea.gov/drug-scheduling
[3] Drug Enforcement Administration. Title 21 United States Code (USC) Controlled Substances Act. Part B — Authority to Control; Standards and Schedules. §812. Schedules of controlled substance. https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/21usc/812.htm
[4] Drug Enforcement Administration. Title 21 United States Code (USC) Controlled Substances Act. Part D — Offenses And Penalties. §860. Distribution or manufacturing in or near schools and colleges. https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/21usc/860.htm
[5] J Clin Psychiatry (2010) Sharing and selling of prescription medications in a college student sample. NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2845992/
[6] NIDA. 2018, June 6. Prescription Stimulants DrugFacts. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-stimulants on 2020, November 6
[7] Bukstein O. (2008). Substance abuse in patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Medscape journal of medicine, 10(1), 24.
[8] Kolar, D., Keller, A., Golfinopoulos, M., Cumyn, L., Syer, C., & Hechtman, L. (2008). Treatment of adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment, 4(2), 389–403. https://doi.org/10.2147/ndt.s6985

3 Tips for the  ADHD Remote Learning Student

3 Tips for the  ADHD Remote Learning Student

3 Get Focused Advice for the  ADHD Remote Learning Student

Learning at home is full of distractions; there is your sister watching the television, your brother playing his online games, and the noise coming from the outside. While focus is an essential factor in remote learning, students with ADHD struggle and find it hard to focus on their schoolwork.

With all the distractions and challenges that you may encounter as a student with ADHD, what do you think are the things that will help keep you in focus while learning?

This blog will give you three focused Tips for the  ADHD Remote Learning Student.

Stick to your medication routine

Staying healthy is what matters most because your behavior starts with yourself. If you feel good about yourself, that’s step one to feel good about your day too and if that happens, you will be inspired on whatever it is you’re doing, well in this case in your schoolwork.

If you have ADHD medication, take it regularly or as prescribed. It helps reduce the tendency to have an overactive and thinking brain, inattentiveness and impulsivity. However, not everyone is too keen on medication. If this is you, I encourage you to look into alternative ways to help your cognitive skills.  You can read more tips on this on my Instagram page.  There is a lot of advice for whether you are taking medications or not to improve your lifestyle through a good self-care routine.

Just a reminder, be responsible with your medication.  If you want to know more about what I mean on this topic go here.

Set a goal

It’s Monday, the weekend felt so short and you feel lazy. What do you usually do to start your day?

Make a goal for today or for the week. Starting your day with a goal in mind will help you keep your focus. You can start with one goal a day and set the alarm on your phone daily to remind you of what you need to do. Once your alarm rings, never ever snooze it, make it a habit to really begin “doing” and start the day with a no procrastinating mode of operation. Eventually, when you’ve already got the hang of doing your tasks on a daily basis, you will be set on your routine.

To be able to do that, first, you have to know what you have to achieve and commit to it. Use your planner.   I have a great and easy one I use with clients and share it in a previous video.   You have to create a plan, a step by step process on what needs to be done. That plan of small activities will help keep you on track and focused.

Create the mood

One’s environment affects their behavior significantly. For your online class, create a regular study space for yourself and keep it organized. Setting up a dedicated learning environment will help create a positive mood for you and it will help you focus on achieving or finishing your task.

Having your work done in one place repeatedly allows you to be familiar and establish your daily routine. Your space can be anywhere around the house, wherever works best for you and wherever you feel most comfortable. Having a designated place for your daily class will help you stay organized. Keeping your important files in one place will make it easier for you to access everything.

Staying at home is a global effort to stay safe and healthy amid the pandemic. In our current situation, online classes are the best option for students to keep going and still be on track on their academic journey. It can be challenging at first because online classes have its fair share of challenges in reality.  These Tips for the  ADHD Remote Learning Student tips will help navigate ADHD and the stressors.

Michelle R. Raz, M.A. Ed., is a professional executive function coach and educational consultant. She specializes in helping people with executive function challenges associated with ADHD be the best version of themselves in their academic and career journeys. You can follow her for fun and motivational ADHD facts and free advice on Instagram or Facebook.

 

 

 

5 Remote Learning Survival Tips

5 Remote Learning Survival Tips

We are in some really challenging times. The way we go about our life is changing minute by minute.

Are you finding yourself in new roles?

You might have just become a teacher or an academic coach and a home health care provider. Things that you didn’t typically think that would be in your repertoire but now are forced upon you by these new changes. the 5 remote learning survival tips can help.

You might be feeling overwhelmed, confused and frustrated.

I want to ease some of that frustration and fear of what you are now being strapped with. If you are having to help a college student or a public school student at home, I will be able to offer you some advice in this episode of The ADHD Strategist.

I hope that these tips helped you.

  1. Advocate for yourself
  2. Resources: make sure you’ve got them in place
  3. Goals: Set them each week
  4. Read the syllabus: make sure you understand what the instructors want (rubric)
  5. Take charge of your time and get organized with accountability.

 

If you do these five things, you will set yourself up during these challenging times for success.   You might just help your student become an independent learner by doing the work on his or her own.

Once you follow this for a few weeks, they will get into a routine and it will begin to flow.

It’s going to be a different home environment but you can get into this flow and be successful. This is a time when we really need to embrace our duties. Things are changing day by day but you can put into place a routine at home that your students can adjust to quickly.

 

Best of luck out there.

If you have anything to share please feel free to reach out to me at www.razcoaching.com  or www. coachingacademics.com. [email protected] Or follow my www.Instagram.com/razcoaching. I do daily mini blogs with tips of inspiration. I post almost every day.  There’s something in there for you that can help you with your focus for the day.

Sharing ADHD Medications: Should you, or Shouldn’t You?

Sharing ADHD Medications: Should you, or Shouldn’t You?

Sharing ADHD Medications: Should you, or shouldn’t you?

This post was developed in collaboration with Adlon Therapeutics L.P, a subsidiary of Purdue Pharma L.P. Personal opinions expressed within this post are my own.

In a world where peer pressure is a big thing, drugs might seem fun, and curiosity is a significant influencer. Where do you stand in sharing ADHD medications? Do you think it’s OK? Or do you think it is a risk?

As teens and young adults head back to school and interact with other students in one way or another, this is an important topic. After an extended time apart from friends, it may be exciting to reconnect in person or virtually through classes, but it can pose some risk of vulnerability for those with ADHD who have medical prescriptions and pressure from friends to share them.

Parents of ADHD students may have heard of some kids misusing and sharing their medication. It is real, and it is worrisome. ADHD medication sharing and misuse can happen, especially among teenagers and young adults. Misuse includes use of medicine by someone other than who it’s intended for, using prescriptions in ways or amounts other than prescribed, or to get high.

This issue may seem shocking to some parents, but the dangers are there. Being in the know and aware of the possibilities and discussing them with your student can help keep your student from succumbing to a potentially dangerous situation.

There are two types of ADHD medications: stimulant medication and non-stimulant medication. Stimulant medication is the one that is more often misused. There are several ways kids misuse and share medications. Most commonly, misuse of ADHD prescription medications come from the curiosity of a peer who chooses to experiment with the medication.

A physician takes into account many factors when prescribing medication. It is simply not safe or legal for someone to offer their prescription to someone else. Teens and young adults are subject to peers asking them to share or sometimes sell their prescriptions. The significance and consequences can be downplayed within peer groups who just want to “try it.”

Why are teens and young adults with ADHD doing this?

There are some reasons why this happens. The most common thing I hear is that they may want to help a friend get an extra boost in focus and energy to help with their schoolwork. Or they may do so for seemingly harmless fun and peer pressure to use them recreationally.

Sharing or selling pills is a considerable risk. Teens and college students who have not been diagnosed with ADHD sometimes want to try prescription stimulants to improve their grades. However, for those without ADHD, the medication does not increase attention span and can make them stay up all night or increase their heart rate. Some students find these effects desirable and want to continue doing this without understanding the risks.

Prescription stimulants are Schedule II controlled substances and, even when used as prescribed, have risks including severe psychological and physical dependence, substance use disorder, overdose, severe cardiovascular events as well as increased blood pressure and heart rate, and new or worsening mental or psychiatric problems. Misuse of prescription stimulants can increase these risks. In addition, prescription stimulants have common side effects including decreased appetite, insomnia, and nausea.

Given the risks of this alarming concern, there are some ways to help your student prevent this from happening.

1) Keep an open line of communication and discuss the potential of this happening. You might even be surprised at how much they already know about other students who have done this.

2) Help them feel responsible for taking their prescriptions properly. Inform them of the reality that other people misuse, share their medications, and enlighten them of the risks that it may cause them.

3) Set a time to discuss this with their physician. If you observed your child misusing their medication and cannot talk to them about it, having their doctor talk to them is a good idea.

Sharing ADHD medications: Should you, or shouldn’t you? There are NO justifications to making this a good cause. This is not helping anyone out and could potentially cause serious harm.

Young adults with ADHD should not share their medications and those who are not diagnosed with ADHD should not take ADHD medications. Sharing prescription stimulants can cause health problems and/or lead to substance use disorder – and it’s illegal.

You do not want to go down that road!

Here is an excellent relatable video about a high school student, Kyle, who is confronted by a peer about sharing his prescription stimulant medication. Please share it with any student that may face peer pressure with their prescribed medications. http://kyleschoiceisyours.com/

Additional videos and a brief, interactive digital course addressing other important scenarios and topics for managing prescription stimulants are also available at: http://adlontherapeutics.com/supporting-responsible-stimulant-use/

Knowledge is power. Just being aware of this pressure can open up a great line of communication with your student as the school year gets started. It can give them time to think through what they would do if confronted by a friend, just as Kyle was in the video I shared.

It can help avoid some real legal problems that come along with sharing medications. I will post a blog about the consequences of sharing medications in another blog.

Michelle R. Raz, M.A. Ed., is a professional executive function coach and educational consultant. She specializes in helping people with executive function challenges associated with ADHD be the best version of themselves in their academic and career journeys.

Disrupt Your Career with This Course

Disrupt Your Career with This Course

What is Career Exploration Webinar Course about?

This Disrupt Your Career Exploration Webinar course concentrates on looking into one’s strength, interests, personality, aptitude and creating strategies to overcome any obstacles related to executive functioning deficits that may keep one from pursuing their dreams in a particular career.

How can this class help me?

If you are struggling with deciding what career is best for you or how to incorporate your best strengths into a career, this will help you to reach your own potential in a given career.

Who is this class geared toward?

This is course is best for a college student or recent graduate. High school students who are looking at which major to declare will find this beneficial as well.

What types of things will I be working on?

  • Career Development and early career dreams and interest
  • Skills, accomplishment and aptitude
  • How personality traits factor into career choices
  • Prioritizing work and leisure values
  • Personal challenges and possibilities to overcome them

Is this class for graduating seniors in high school or younger?

Yes, if they are contemplating which major to pursue or career path

Is this class for students in college?

Yes, this is an excellent course to identify your strengths, interests and pathway to your dream career. Or make sure you are on the right track and what steps to take next.

What about adults taking this class who are in the workplace?

This would be a good course for adults who are feeling that they may need a change of career to redefine themselves or find a new passion that better aligns with their interests, skills and lifestyle. We will be offering a class geared towards this type of client in the near future.

DON’T MISS THE ONE COURSE THAT COULD CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

Disrupt Your Career

Learn MORE HERE:

Follow us on Instagram for Disrupt Your Career  motivation tips at Raz Coaching

Dark Side of Remote Learning

COVID 19 has caused a pandemic that brought a lot of changes to our way of living. One of the most affected areas is education, especially for students with disabilities. The pandemic has resulted in schools shut all across the world and as a result, education has changed drastically with the rise of remote learning where lectures will take place remotely on digital platforms.

While schools are having a transition from traditional face to face classes to online education, there are several issues that must be given attention to. A big portion of that is the disadvantages of remote learning to students with ADHD.

The following are the potential Dark side of remote learning. Barriers to education through remote-learning practices that students with disabilities may encounter along the process discussed in this podcast episode:

  • Need for one on one instructional support challenges.
  • Behavior Modification and intervention needs.
  • Mental Health issues:  Depression, Anxiety, and Isolation.

Students with disabilities are at higher risk due to the needs and impacts for remote learning mentioned above. Amid the challenges and risks, the most important thing to keep in mind is the education and safety of students and teachers must be balanced. Education is important but enjoying and learning through the process is what makes it more valuable.

Can you think of other challenges that might get in the way during remote learning sessions?

Let me know!  go ahead and Ask Raz! for personal feedback, just click the link: https://www.razcoaching.com/ask_raz/

If you have anything to share please feel free to reach out to me at www.razcoaching.com  or www. coachingacademics.com. [email protected] Or follow my www.Instagram.com/razcoaching. I do daily mini blogs with tips of inspiration.  There’s something in there for you that can help you with your focus for the day.

COVID-19 and College Challenges

COVID-19 and College Challenges

 COVID-19 College Challenges

College is a big deal, especially for incoming freshmen. It is the most awaited time for students to finally have their freedom, freedom from home, freedom from their parents’ rules. Entering college is a new era of making friends and opening up themselves to the excitement and fear that goes along with it.

And then comes Covid-19

It’s like someone just popped all the balloons at a party and turned off the music!  This has had such a significant effect on college life that many students are opting to take a year off and wait this out.

So, what about the students that are going ahead with their college plans for this year?

Adapting to a new normal is filled with uncertainty, fear, and disappointment. Let’s discuss some of the possible challenges that you may encounter along your college journey and what possible solutions you can do to still create memories.

Cut the cord and finally have some freedom!

Now that  COVID-19 has turned the world upside down and schools have transitioned to online learning, you might feel that you’re still stuck if you are living at home. You still live in the same house as your parents and you still have to follow their rules. So much for you cutting the cord and being independent, you are thinking.

While at home, challenge yourself to be more independent. Do activities alone, finish some chores alone, or give yourself time to the things you need to learn before wanting the freedom that you’ve always wanted. Do you know how to balance your bank account?  Know how to set up utilities in your name?  What bills do you pay on your own?   Take some time to set yourself up with some personal finance skills needed to be genuinely independent while staying at your parents’ house. You might just get some useful guidance and input.   Trust me, they will most likely be very eager and willing to help you out!

Social Life Stifled!

If you do have some classes in person, making new friends while not meeting other students without wearing a mask is awkward at best.   How are you going to know them?  Maybe you have an online class that is hybrid with some in-person and some remote learning.  In this situation, you can get the benefit of actually seeing the person without a mask!  I know seeing them online is different than knowing them personally, but it can be a hybrid situation like the classes themselves.  It will certainly give you something to look forward to when it is safe to go out with friends without masks.  Having something to look forward to is a good feeling too. Making new friends in the middle of this pandemic is one of a kind experience for sure!

The excitement of a change of scenery after so many months at home…

One of the things that you might be excited about college is the change of environment. Arriving on campus and realizing that you are still: confined to wearing masks, staying in your dorm, pod or apartment to study, eat with little socializing can leave you feeling disappointed and frustrated.  How can you really have the freedom to explore and enjoy the new scenery change if you are so confined?  Maybe, this is the time to take up hiking or biking.  Often college towns are in ideal areas for outdoor opportunities.  If you did not get to leave and remote learning is your only option, you can look at the positive.  A good thing that studying at home can offer us is being in the comfort of our own home with no negative influences and distractions around you.  You might just have a stellar academic semester.   During this challenging time, appreciating the little things at home is one positive way to look at it.

As you navigate this fall with Covid-19 and college challenges, think outside the box and find ways to make it work out the best it can for you.   It is a good practice to find the positives or lessons in the face of challenges.  When this pandemic of over, you will be better equipped to face whatever the next challenge is in life.

You got this!

Let me know your concerns with Covid-19 and college challenges. Go ahead and Ask Raz! for personal feedback, just click the link: https://www.razcoaching.com/ask_raz/.   If you have anything to share, please feel free to reach out to me at www.razcoaching.com  or www. coachingacademics.com. [email protected] Or follow my www.Instagram.com/razcoaching. I do daily mini blogs with tips of inspiration.  There’s something in there for you that can help you with your focus for the day.

 

Covid and College Challenges

Covid and College Challenges

College time may be fun and exciting.  But it also has a fair share of challenges especially now that Covid-19 has affected everything including education

Becoming a college freshman is a big step to young adulthood. It is the most awaited time for students to finally have their freedom, freedom from home, freedom from their parents’ rules, and freedom from high school.  Entering college is a new era of making friends and opening up themselves to the excitement and fear that goes along with it.

Adapting to the new normal things has never been easy. Let’s discuss some of the possible challenges that you may encounter along your college journey. What possible solutions can you do to still create memories?

Now that the COVID 19 has turned the world upside down and schools have transitioned to online learning, you might feel that you’re still stuck to where you are before, you still live in the same house as your parents and you still have to follow their rules. You can think of it that way, but you can make it the best time to learn more about what you can improve and develop in yourself. Leaving home can be pretty exciting but being ready before leaving is another level.

Can you cite other examples of Covid and College Challenges you might encounter in your first year as college students that are not listed above? I’m here to listen, Ask Raz! Leave me a message. Just click the link: https://www.razcoaching.com/ask_raz/
or visit my instagram www.instagram.com/razcoaching