Desoxyn—Legally Prescribed Meth for Kids
I have heard of Adderall, Ritalin, and other amphetamine drugs prescribed for ADHD, but until recently I had no idea that prescriptions for methamphetamine existed. They do, and they are in the form of a little 5 mg white tablet called Desoxyn. It is commonly prescribed for children ages 6 and up for ADHD and obesity problems. In fact, while less known than other popular ADHD medications, there were still an average of 10,000 annual prescriptions of Desoxyn between 2016 and 2018. (https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov) I am not surprised to see a large warning label on nearly every site I looked up while researching Desoxyn. The message is simple:
METHAMPHETAMINE HAS A HIGH POTENTIAL FOR ABUSE. PARTICULAR ATTENTION SHOULD BE PAID TO THE POSSIBILITY OF SUBJECTS OBTAINING METHAMPHETAMINE FOR NON-THERAPEUTIC USE OR DISTRIBUTION TO OTHERS… (https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov)
Wow, you think? While the opioid crisis in our country needs our continued and collective efforts to educate the public and combat the deadly problem, there is also a very real meth epidemic sweeping the country. This is a glaring issue for someone like me who works in the field of addiction, as the percentage of people that reach for help and are dealing with a meth addiction is very high. Meth addiction is all kinds of bad, and if you have been around anyone in a meth psychosis you understand exactly what I am referring to. The drug creates paranoia, sleep deprivation, and many more side effects that are very dangerous. Its abuse is also frequently accompanied by rashes and scars on the face and body from addicts unknowingly and habitually clawing at their skin.
The fact that this highly addictive and destructive drug is being prescribed to small children to combat something like obesity or even ADHD is, frankly, disgusting and highly disturbing. I know from my own experience working with addicts that it is not rare for them to look back and realize that their addiction unknowingly started with addictive medications prescribed when they were young. I have my own opinion on amphetamines based on my personal experience having them prescribed to me and the path that it led me on. They are dangerous and create an almost immediate chemical hook, not all that different than my days abusing illegal street drugs. I was first diagnosed ADHD when I was a teenager and already abusing alcohol. I used the ADHD diagnosis to keep drinking the way I was and still be able to snap out of it and do my studies. The Adderall only intensified my drinking habits, and using it was in fact my way of protecting my addiction with another addiction.
I cannot even imagine how destructive my life would have become at an even earlier age had I been on that type of medication as a child. Then add methamphetamine to the list and it blows my mind that any professional could think prescribing such a thing to a child is a good idea. Whatever pros could possibly be imagined by this method of treatment are far outweighed by the warning label alone. I do not think that there are many people left who do not think addiction is a big problem in this country. The issue I continue to see with our society is if the problem is so well known, what are we doing to create solutions and prevent drug addiction? Why do we continue to go down the same path of contributing to the number of addicts we have in this country, our communities, and our homes?
It starts with drug education, and we need to stop glorifying the ‘benefits’ of putting kids on these types of drugs and begin focusing on the consequences and extreme risks. What good is an education if you are not around to use it or sunk too low from addiction to succeed? I also know there are a lot of addicts that would tell you that using drugs to combat a weight problem does not cause a person to be in better health. We need to evolve with our drug crisis and start doing things differently. A good start would be to eliminate things like prescribing our children prescription methamphetamine. If you or anyone you need is seeking help, please reach out.