What’s the top new way elementary and middle school students are boosting their grades? It’s not tutoring or extra study sessions. They’re popping ADHD medication, like Adderall, which makes them super focused – even if they don’t even have ADHD. And all that pill popping could damage their brains for life.

And even more shocking – it’s usually the child’s parent who pushes the doctor for an ADHD diagnosis and medication - because they think it’s a quick fix for their child’s behavior and grades. 

In fact, Adderall has been nicknamed “school steroids” because it improves focus, concentration, and impulses. 

The CDC says nearly 10% of all kids between age 4 and 17 have ADHD - and preschool-age kids are popping so-called study pills – and they’re doing it every day! 

Dr. Michael Anderson is a pediatrician in New York and he prescribes the pills whether a kid has an ADD diagnosis or not. Shockingly – he says ADD is “a made up excuse” to prescribe the pills to treat what he thinks is the REAL problem: bad grades. 

But one of the biggest problems with handing out pills willy-nilly is that no one knows what long term effects these drugs will have on kids’ growing brains and bodies.

The KNOWN side effects include stunted growth, increased blood pressure and psychotic episodes. We read about one 11-year-old boy took Adderall strictly to boost his grades, but soon began hearing voices and became suicidal. His family took him off that drug, but immediately started him on a similar one called Risperdal, to keep him focused and keep his grades up. 

So, parents – experts say don’t put your child on any medication unless a doctor diagnoses them with an actual condition that 100% requires it.