Prescription painkillers no doubt receive the highest amount of attention when it comes to legal drugs, be it from media, politicians, or even public commentary like you’ll find here on our blog. But they are not the only kinds of prescribed drugs that are causing problems.
The rise of a “study drug”
Adderall, a prescription stimulant used to treat attention deficit hyperactive disorder (commonly known as A.D.H.D.), is being misused as a “study drug.” As a result, NPR reports, hospitals are seeing a spike in emergency room incidents related to the drug.
Prescription painkillers, there are instances when Adderall is indeed prescribed for a medical need. And there are many where those who are prescribed the drug share their prescription medication (illegally) with those who do not need it.
Dr. Ramin Mojtabia, professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and senior author of a recent study about Adderall, says that adults between the ages of 18 and 25 are at the highest risk of misusing it.
The drug has a reputation for helping users concentrate, and for a small sect of the population affected with A.D.H.D., that might be true. But, Dr. Mojtabia says, that reputation is likely adding to the rise of abuse. “Adderall has a reputation … as a cognitive enhancer,” says Mojtabai. “[And that] may have contributed to this increased trend of misuse.”
NSFW (No, really – it’s NOT safe)
Despite Adderall’s reputation for helping users focus. The drug is more likely to cause adverse effects than it is to improve functionality at work or school. Side effects include anxiety, agitation and insomnia, and are often intense. Adderall and other stimulants are also linked with cardiovascular problems. Very serious problems. like high blood pressure, and rarely (though not unheard of) heart attacks and stroke.
According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network, in 2006, emergency room visits due to misused Adderall totaled 862; by 2011, that figure jumped up to 1489.
Perhaps worse than side effects, Adderall can be addictive, just like any other mind-altering substance. Left untreated, an addiction to Adderall can cause physical and psychological damage.
In conclusion, if you are facing an addiction to Adderall, other stimulants or any substance, there is hope. The Watershed has a staff of compassionate professionals ready to take your call and give you the care you need. Get in touch any time: 1-800-861-1768.Tags: adderall, adderall addcitions in college, ADHD