Here’s a great picture of some of the Lines for Life’s youth volunteers at the most recent CARSA (Community Action to Reduce Substance Abuse) meeting. The man in the middle is Gil Kerlikowske, the current Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy! He was there to talk about prescription drugs and how to help Oregon keep them out of the wrong hands.
Don’t forget that this Saturday (September 29) is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Here’s how it works: From 10:00am-2:00pm on Saturday, multiple collection sites in all 50 states are coming together under one purpose. It is an opportunity to return all unwanted and/or expired medications for safe and proper disposal in support of reducing prescription drug abuse. To find a collection site closest to you, check out this website. Spread the word to friends and family to support this awesome, national cause!
Well, what the heck is that? CARSA stands for Community Action to Reduce Substance Abuse. Basically, it’s a bunch of important community members who come together twice or three times a year who are working to reduce substance abuse in Oregon. One of the most important people who spoke today was Dwight Holton, the former US Attorney for Oregon. He was the man behind the Prescription Drug (Rx) Summits in Oregon (the link to the summit’s page is at the bottom of the page). The Rx Summits had one goal: To reduce prescription drug abuse among teens. Rx drugs are one of the most widely used drugs, and are also a gateway drug to more “serious” drugs such as heroine and meth. Oxycodone, Adderall, and Vicodin may seem harmless, but they can quickly become addictive. Cheery, right?
Anyways, I was one of the youth representatives who went with Kovi to help her talk about our Rx Campaign. YAC created several PSA’s and posters to raise awareness about prescription drug abuse, and we were asked to share them at CARSA. We also got to hear about a huge grant that the tri-county area (Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas) received to help reduce substance abuse. Finally, Mike Boyer, a police department representative, talked about the latest liquor control laws that are being passed to help limit public intoxication in downtown.
All and all, CARSA was a great experience that gave me a ton of ideas to apply to my school, my life, and other projects I’d like to see happen here at OP. Mr. Howser gave me some great advice I thought I’d share with you (paraphrased, of course): The way to make things happen and to get stuff done is through connections. The more people you know and the more people you have on your side, the easier it is to accomplish the seemingly impossible. Everything is a group effort.
The Rx Summit:
The YAC Rx Media Campaign:
A video of some YAC-ers speaking at one of the Rx Summits:
P.S. Please subscribe to the Oregon Partnership Youthlink’s YouTube Channel! keep up to date with our projects with cool videos! Subscribe button is at the top of the page on the video above. Thanks!
Practically everyone has heard of the drug Adderall and knows that it is used to treat individuals who have Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). This is a completely safe drug to take if you are someone who has been diagnosed with ADHD and have been prescribed the medicine. But, what about teenagers who take the drug even though they don’t have ADHD? Is this bad? More and more teenagers are taking this drug without the supervision of a doctor which can be extremely dangerous.
Why teenagers who do not have ADHD take Adderall:
1: In order to get high –> Adderall is a stimulant which increases alertness, attention and energy.
2: For weight loss reasons –> Weight loss is a common side effect from taking Adderall.
3: School Performance –> Some teenagers wrongly believe that Adderall will help them to do better in school.
Adderall has been found to not be addictive for individuals who have ADHD, but is addictive for those who do not have ADHD.
Possible Consequences of Taking Adderall Recreationally:
- Irregular Heartbeat
- Dangerously High Body Temperatures
- Heart Failure
- Dangerous when mixed with alcohol or other medication
For some individuals, taking a stimulant for only a short period of time can cause anger and paranoia.
The bottom line:
Taking Adderall for any other reason besides to treat ADHD is very unsafe, ineffective and not worth it. There is no research to confirm that Adderall actually helps students to study better and receive better grades in school. Not only does Adderall have dangerous side effects and long-term consequences, if you do not have ADHD, it will be effective for nothing more than keeping you wired and awake all night. Even though you are “awake” for longer, you will not be retaining information which means you will not do any better on an exam. You are better off studying the old fashioned way (textbook and coffee in hand) and getting some extra sleep! If you want to avoid pulling an all-nighter and resorting to taking dangerous pills, try starting your studying early in the day and then studying all throughout the day for short increments of time, rather than cramming all at once.
There will be a blog soon on ideas for effective and healthy studying techniques. Feel free to leave comments!