Parents aren't paying enough attention to their teenage children's study habits, according to a new study, which found that only one out of every 100 parents of teens ages 13 to 17 believes their child has used a "study drug" — a prescription stimulant or amphetamine. These statistics come a month after another study found that one in four high school teenagers has used or misused a prescription drug.

The University of Michigan Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health found that just one percent of parents said they believe their child had taken prescription stimulant medication, such as dextroamphetamine/amphetamine (Adderall), methylphenidate (Ritalin), or lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse). These medications are used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Students who aren't prescribed these medications sometimes use them to stay awake or concentrate better while studying for tests.

"Sometimes students without ADHD take someone else's medication, to try to stay awake and alert and try to improve their scores on exams or assignments," Matthew M. Davis, director of the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health, said. "Taking study drugs has not been proven to improve students' grades, and it can be very dangerous to their health."

The poll reported that white parents were most likely to say they were "very concerned" (54 percent), compared to African-American parents (38 percent) and Hispanic/Latino (37 percent). However, only 27 percent of parents polled said they had spoken to their kids about study drug abuse. Black parents spoke the most about it at 41 percent, compared to white and Hispanic parents, 27 percent and 17 percent of whom spoke to their kids.

"If we are going to make a dent in this problem, and truly reduce the abuse of these drugs, we need parents, educators, health care professionals and all who interact with teens to be more proactive about discussing the issue," Davis said.

The poll results come a month after The Partnership at reported that one in four teens in grades 9-12, totaling five million teens, have misused or abused prescription drugs at least once in their lifetime — amounting to a 33 percent increase in the last five years — with 13 percent having taken Ritalin or Adderall.

"We know teens may be sharing drugs or spreading the word that these medications can give their grades a boost," Davis said. "But the bottom line is that these prescription medications are drug, and teens who use them without a prescription are taking a serious risk with their health."

Source: University of Michigan Health System. One in 10 teens using 'study drugs,' but parents aren't paying attention. May 2013.