HOTLINE: Sunday, Dec. 15

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by Lisa Fuller Magee

azfamily.com

Posted on December 15, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Updated Sunday, Dec 15 at 12:34 PM

Students look to prescription drugs during finals

It's finals season. Students are deep into books but instead of using coffee to help keep them alert while studying into the wee-hours of the morning, they're turning to something else -- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs like Adderall.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Adderall is legally prescribed for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. It is a daily central nervous system stimulant medication composed of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. The long-used street name for amphetamine is speed.

According to Leslie Bloom, CEO of DrugFreeAZ.org, prescription drug abuse by teenagers is a growing problem, and the statistics are alarming.

In Arizona, 1 in 5 teens has used prescription drugs to get high or change their mood, and two-thirds of teenagers who abuse pain relievers say they get the pills from family members or friends.

One person dies every 19 minutes from drug overdose in the United States -- an increasing trend with painkillers.

According to the University of Southern California Science Review, 14 percent of students said they have been asked to sell, trade or distribute Adderall as of 2012.

In a survey, 95 percent of students said they "were able to obtain a false diagnosis of ADHD by faking symptoms on one of the most commonly used self-reporting scales."

What can parents do to prevent abuse during the stressful finals season?

  • Ask your kids about their upcoming final exams. You'll be aware of what's on their plate, and talking about it might help reduce some anxiety.
     
  • Recognize that your kids are busy and doing something important so that they don't feel like you aren't taking them seriously.
     
  • Break up the study routine with something fun to help balance the mood.
     
  • Encourage adequate rest, healthy food and hydration to maintain physical health.
     
  • The most important thing you can do is talk with your children about prescription drugs. While parents often take time to talk about the "common" drugs such as marijuana, many times they don't talk about the equally dangerous prescription drugs.
     

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Chef Dad's Bacon Cheeseburger Soup

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef (80/20 or leaner)
8 slices of bacon (cooked and chopped)
1 brown onion (diced)
5 tbsp butter
1/4 cup Wondra flour*
32 oz (4 cups) chicken stock
2 lb. brick of Velveeta cheese (cubed)
1 can of Rotel tomato and green chile mix (found next to the canned tomatoes in the store)
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Crushed red peppers (optional)

Cooking:

1. In a frying pan over medium high heat, cook your ground beef with 1/2 tsp of salt and a 1/4 tsp of black pepper until fully cooked. Drain fat and set aside. Cook your bacon and chop into small pieces then set aside.

2. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, melt your butter and cook the onions with a few pinches of salt and pepper. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes until tender, then add the flour. Stir in well and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, then add the chicken stock and cream. Stir well. Increase the heat to medium high. Once the mixture starts bubbling and thickens up a bit, turn the heat down to low and add your cubed Velveeta. Stir frequently until the cheese melts completely. This will take about 10 minutes.  Don't turn the heat up too high or your cheese will burn across the bottom of your pan.

3. Open the can of Rotel and drain off the excess juices. Add your cooked ground beef, bacon and can of Rotel to the pot, and stir in well. Let it come to a simmer, and taste for salt and pepper. I usually add about 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper. If you like a little extra kick, add 1 tsp of crushed red pepper now. Cover and continue to let warm up for another 10 minutes before serving. 

Cook's Notes: *Regular all-purpose flour can be used instead. It's best to use a non-stick ceramic or non-stick pot vs. an aluminum one so the cheese will not burn and stick to the bottom of your surface.

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