Thanks to Rate Your Students for this video:
So, in the 90s, we started over-prescribing psychotropic drugs to children, and now 25-33% of incoming college freshman arrive to school with a (for all practical purposes) life-long drug habit.
And to rebel, to begin carving out their own identity, many of them are stopping taking their prescribed drugs.
If you went back to the 70s and 80s and told young people that their kids would grow up on drugs and then stop taking them to rebel, people would have laughed -- oh, funny joke. Hey, that's like one of those funny stories where you reverse everything, right? Ha ha.
Moving past that, tho: there are some troubling possibilities here. First of all, yes, these drugs were over-prescribed, but there are some students who need them. There might be a lot of peer pressure to stop taking your meds, and that might negatively affect the lives of a number of students who really do need them. And even the ones who can successfully stop taking them will probably go through some strange moods, their intellectual abilities may wax and wane as their brains experience new chemical balances and imbalances.
Of course I point this out from the point of view primarily as someone who teaches college students -- it's hard enough sometimes to educate a brain awash in hormones and struggling to make it through a difficult and confusing time of life, but what should we expect from this new turn? And is violent behavior a possibility? Many of these drugs were prescribed to calm children who were "acting out" in grade school -- will coming off the drugs now revert them to a childish state in which they have little self-control?
When I was a student, the campus counseling office wasn't a very busy place, and those who did go there mainly went to cry on a couch while a psych grad student listened. It looks like, these days, the campus counseling office is a much more serious place, and I hope U's are giving them the funding, staffing, support, and resources they're going to need to get everyone into college and out into adulthood safely.