It would be foolhardy for me, or anyone one else for that matter, to deny the fact that ADHD in teenagers is a growing problem, not only in the United States, but all over the world. After all, statistics don't lie, and if recent statistics are anything to go by, the number of teens living with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) has increased tenfold in recent years. The question which many researchers are asking is why.
Some experts believe it's because we have more reliable and more robust ADHD screening procedures in place these days, and that because more people are familiar with the signs and symptoms of the disorder, more cases are being brought to the attention of health care providers.
On the other hand, a lot of people are arguing that many doctors aren't adequately experienced in this field, and are therefore likely to misdiagnose ADHD. In a perfect world, a psychiatrist or pediatrician lacking experience in this field would refer their patient to a different doctor, but as we all know, we don't live in a perfect world.
Many specialists in this field, including many people working in government agencies such as the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) believe that many of the cases involving ADHD in teenagers aren't legitimate cases and that many teens are actually faking the disorder. As many have pointed out, it's very easy for a teen to go online in order to familiarize themselves with ADHD symptoms, and then fake those symptoms for the sole purpose of obtaining the prescription drugs which are routinely used for treating ADHD.
Let's take a look at one possible scenario. Your teenage son spends a lot of his time hanging out with all his college pals, some of which might already be taking ADHD stimulant drugs, either legally or illegally. At some point, you son is offered some of these tablets. Maybe he takes them so he can stay awake longer than usual because he wants to study for an important exam. Maybe he's been invited to a party, and wants to stay awake all night just like his friends do.
Because these amphetamine-like ADHD drugs are so addictive, your son soon has a habit over which he has no control. He now has to rely on friends to keep him supplied, but because these drugs are a Class ll Controlled Substance, acquiring them without a prescription could land him in prison. Rather than risk his freedom, he goes online and does some research regarding ADHD symptoms, and before long, he's behaving just as any other ADHD teen behaves. As a parent, you're concerned so you take him to doctor for screening. Not having much experience, the doctor decides your son does indeed have ADHD, and duly prescribes ADHD stimulant drugs.