Health Buzz: ADHD Prescription Drug Abuse and Other Health News

How to make the decision whether to vaccinate with Gardasil; the "Freshman 15" isn't inevitable.


Study Finds Teens Abusing ADHD Prescription Drugs

Reports of teens abusing drugs prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder increased 76 percent from 1998 to 2005, according to a study that examined calls to poison control centers across the nation. Calls to the American Association of Poison Control Centers concerning ADHD drug abuse rose from 330 to 581, the Associated Press reports. More than 40 percent of teens experienced moderate to severe side effects, including agitation, rapid heart beat, and dangerously high blood pressure, according to the AP. The study, published in the journal Pediatric s, did not report whether the teens involved were diagnosed with ADHD, the AP reports.

In June, U.S. News contributor Nancy Shute wrote about how to safely use Ritalin to treat ADHD. Learn more about the risk of abusing drugs for ADHD. And here are 9 drug-free approaches to managing ADHD.

Advice for Parents on Gardasil Vaccine for HPV

The government recommends the Gardasil vaccine for all 11- and 12-year-old girls to make sure they get protected early from the cervical-cancer-causing human papillomavirus, which is sexually transmitted. Still, the vaccine is relatively new, and the full details about its safety risks aren't known, U.S. News's Deborah Kotz reports.

Kotz and U.S. News columnist and physician Bernadine Healy ask leaders at the American Academy of Pediatrics to weigh in on the vaccine's safety and whether parents should proceed cautiously when it comes to Gardasil. See a video of their discussion with AAP President David Tayloe and President-elect Judith Palfrey. The video is the second in U.S. News's series on vaccines.

In July, Kotz and Healy discussed whether more research into possible links between vaccines and autism is needed. Here is a parent's guide to managing vaccinations.

Worried about 'Freshman 15'? 5 Ways a New School or Job Can Help You Get Fit

A new environment, different hours, nearly limitless food choices: No wonder 25 percent of college freshmen gain at least 5 percent of their body weight (10 to 15 pounds) in their very first semester of school, according to a study published this year.

But a fresh start—a new school, job, or schedule—can actually shake up your eating and exercise routine for better instead of worse, U.S. News's Katherine Hobson reports. Research suggests that when you eat or drink the same thing at the same time of day, in the same mood, or in the same place, you set up a series of cues that will bring on a craving whenever you're in that situation. In a new environment, though, some of the cues to your old behaviors are no longer present. A clean slate is a great opportunity to erase some of the less helpful old cues, Hobson writes. She offers 5 tips for using a change of scene to help you get fit rather than fatter.

Consider these 5 willpower boosters to help you resist temptation and keep your weight down. Here are 3 ways to beat sweet tooth cravings, and learn the skinny on alcoholic beverages and weight loss.

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