Most parents probably don’t know that the attention-deficit medication prescribed for children can deliver an amazingly addictive high. But lots of kids know about it, which is why drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin are so often traded in high schools and colleges. The old distinction between legal and illegal drugs is breaking down as countless millions of young people explore the recreational kick they can get out of the pills they find in the bathroom cabinet – or order off the internet. Clubbers who use illegal ‘uppers’ such as Ecstasy to get high on the dance floor will use legal ‘downers’ such as Valium or Zimovane to smooth away withdrawal effects. And that’s before we even consider the thriving black market in painkillers. Thanks to the hit series House, it’s common knowledge that the opiate-based painkiller Vicodin delivers a gentle euphoria. The Obama administration is desperately trying to clamp down on this sort of recreational abuse – but is it already too late? Thanks to the internet, an opiate hit is often only a click away. All you need is a working credit card.
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