Part I of this article describes ADHD and explores the extent of ADHD medication abuse, especially among young adults. Part II discusses the characteristics of emerging adults, who may be more likely than their older counterparts to make unwise decisions about medications and other life choices.34 While we protect minors by requiring parental consent for their medical treatments, emerging adults are effectively able to obtain any drug on the market if they convince the doctor that they have the requisite diagnosis. Part III explores HIPAA, the medical malpractice standard of care and the challenges associated with a society that is overly dependent on prescription drugs. It recommends that we work towards greater mental health parity, enabling those who need them, to affordably obtain mental health services. Part III also recommends that HIPAA be amended to provide for presumed consent for health care providers to share information, including at least an initial meeting, with parents of young emerging adults. It also suggests that mental health care providers' failure to use best efforts to include parental contact in cases of young emerging adults violates the medical malpractice standard of care, especially in cases involving ADHD medications. Finally, this article advocates for an awareness campaign to address the challenges associated with the public health problem of prescription drug overuse and abuse.
Barbara L. Atwell, Rethinking the Childhood-Adult Divide: Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Emerging Adults, 25 Alb. L.J. Sci. & Tech. 1 (2015), http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/992/.