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What can I do if my younger sister convinced her doctor to prescribe her Ritalin for ADHD, with the intent of using it for recreational purposes?
An_250822 posted:
What can I do if my younger sister convinced her doctor to prescribe her Ritalin for ADHD, with the intent of using it for recreational purposes? She did this along with her boyfriend at the time to get "longer test times" in college to keep their grades up during their first year in college. She is now 29 yrs. old and still using. She has major mouth twitches, super hyper (cocaine-like) behavior, has scabs all over her arms, has deep creases at the smile lines around her mouth and has extremely strange eating behaviors - hardly ever eats, and when she does it is always bread or cheese or candy. She also drinks a lot of coffee and has insomnia often.

Her behavior is so strange that people ask me questions about her and ask if she is on cocaine. She still lives at home and my parents are in total denial.

She also had a really bad kidney infection that I think was caused by an overdose.

Can I confront her doctor even though she is over 18? Why is it so easy to get a prescription - are there ever follow ups with the doctor, or once prescribed, are patients on Ritalin for life? What would keep her from switching doctors and achieving the same results - more Ritalin?

I need some advice. I want to help her. What's the best course of action?
Gina Pera responded:
What you're describing sounds like the behavior of someone who has mental-health issues of some type, if not actually ADHD. Or perhaps she actually does have ADHD but the Ritalin might have exacerbated other issues, such as anxiety. In other words, the situation might be more complicated than superficial appearances suggest.

Privacy laws prohibit healthcare providers from talking with family members or other about their patients. But there's nothing to prevent you from sending or faxing a letter to your sister's physician, detailing your concerns. This might motivate the physician to question your sister more closely about her behavior patterns. It will also let the physician know that someone is paying attention to his prescribing.

Good luck to you and your sister,
Gina Pera

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