If a teenager or young adult is diagnosed as having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), they are commonly prescribed a stimulant medication, such as Ritalin or Adderall. Prescription stimulants in small doses help people focus, but in higher doses it will cause feelings of euphoria. Stimulant narcotics are highly sought after, and are commonly abused among college aged individuals, being used for an edge in studying or for partying longer. Alcohol makes people tired, if someone takes an Adderall and drinks, they are able to continue partying longer than they would normally be able to.
In fact, new research suggests that non-medical use of Adderall rose 67 percent from 2005 to 2011 among people ages 18 to 25, Newsweek reports. The study found that 70 percent of non-medical Adderall users did not have a prescription of their own, acquiring the drugs from friends and/or family.
So what does nonmedical use mean? It is defined as taking a drug without a prescription or in unintended ways. Such as:
- Taking a higher dose than prescribed
- Crushing the pills
Many young people are not aware of the dangers that can accompany misusing Adderall. The researchers found that between 2005 and 2011, emergency room visits related to the drug rose by 156 percent, according to the article. Interestingly, while the medication is widely considered to be over-prescribed, the research shows that the negative consequences associated with the drug are linked mainly to non-medical use.
The co-author of the study, Dr. Ramin Mojtabai, a physician and researcher at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, along with Dr. Nora Volkow, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), believe that it is crucial that young people are educated about the risks of Adderall misuse, the article reports. Adderall is far from safe, on top of being addictive; the drug can lead to serious cardiovascular events, including:
- Sudden Death
- Heart Attack
If you or loved one abuses prescription stimulants, please contact Family Recovery Specialists. We can help break the cycle of addiction and give you the tools to live a life free from mind altering substances.