Link Discovered between ADHD Medication and Bullying

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Boulder Creek Academy

As a therapeutic boarding school, Boulder Creek Academy addresses the needs of adolescents with a variety of cognitive, emotional, and social challenges. Boulder Creek Academy has welcomed numerous students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as well as many who present with low self-esteem and interpersonal immaturity issues.

According to recent research, adolescents who take medication for ADHD are twice as likely to experience bullying as compared to peers who do not need such medication. Trading, selling, or giving medication to others also makes a teen 4.5 times as likely to attract bullies than a peer without an ADHD diagnosis. Furthermore, a teen with ADHD who shares or sells medication is five times as likely to be bullied than a peer with the same diagnosis but no recent prescription.

Researchers are not sure of the connection between ADHD medication and bullying. Some suspect that the link goes beyond the prescription itself to the teen’s social skills, which are often underdeveloped regardless of pharmaceutical intervention. One psychologist has posited that a low social position may cause these teens to use their medications as leverage, which in turn attracts the attention of bullies. Experts note that there is no identified causal link between the medication itself and a child’s status as a bullying target, but that parents should consult with the child’s doctor regarding any medication concerns.