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Lansing, Michigan

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David Mittleman
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Teens Lose Life to Prescription Drug Adderall

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Let's compare two situations. In situation #1 you are being given heroin on the street by a thuggish-looking drug dealer. In situtation #2 you are being given the prescription drug Adderall by a pharmacist dressed in a white lab coat. Situation #1 might seem like the scarier and more obvious scenario to steer clear of, but did you realize that prescription drugs can be as dangerous as illegal street drugs? In fact, Kathy Fee of Virginia Beach would tell you exactly such a story when it comes to her 24-year-old son who was continuously prescribed Adderall for a non-existent ADHD diagnosis.

Kathy's son, Richard, was a well-liked aspiring medical student and class college president but his life spiraled out of control after a visit to a doctor who prescribed him Adderall for ADHD. Richard's father, Rick, and his mother Kathy pleaded with Richard's doctor to stop prescribing their son the highly addictive medication. Kathy confronted her 24-year-old son as his life was torn to shreds and he became violently delusional without the medication. Ultimately, Richard was hospitalized in 2011 from withdrawal and later committed suicide after his doctor prescribed him 90 more days of pills.

Richard's story represents the dangerousness of prescription drugs. For people with ADHD, medications like Adderall can be a God-send, but for others they spell nothing but trouble. Not everyone commits suicide who abuses Adderall, but the razor-like focus that the drug provides can lead many teens to abuse it. Richard had a history of prescription drug abuse, with medical records showing that he lied to doctor after doctor and physicians making quick diagnoses, leading to greater dosages even in the face of psychological breakdowns. Currently, nearly 14 million young people take monthly prescriptions for ADHD. It's time that we do something serious about stemming the problem and having more of our children die needlessly at the hands of the big pharma.