In recent years there has been an increase in prescription drug abuse. Adderall is one of the highest abused prescriptions in the United States and there are no signs of it declining. It is primarily used to treat ADHD symptoms in adults and children.
Adderall’s illicit use first became popular on college campuses. It found popularity at schools because it increases focus and alertness for a long period of time. According to LiveScience “A study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that full-time college students were twice as likely as non-students to have used Adderall non-medically. Affordable at roughly $6-$8 street value, it is easy for college students to get their hands on Adderall illegally”. Students will take Adderall in order to write papers, take tests, and anything in between.
While it is still found primarily on college campuses, reports have shown an increase of non-students using Adderall for work. The effects of Adderall allow people to work for longer hours without feelings of strain or tiredness, “But in interviews, dozens of people in a wide spectrum of professions said they and co-workers misused stimulants like Adderall, Vyvanse, and Concerta to improve work performance”. Pressure from work to succeed has many seeking Adderall in order to keep up or gain an advantage in their field.
Adderall is also used as a recreational drug because of its euphoric effect which can last up to 4 hours. Stimulants are often used at music festivals and raves. It is often crushed and snorted in order to induce a faster high. Often times it is taken while consuming alcohol which is becoming a growing concern since Adderall can make users feel less drunk than they really are. The combination can lead to severe impairment, dehydration, and alcohol poisoning.
Adderall is primarily supplied by those who have prescriptions. It is not illegally produced since there are many types of illegal amphetamines that cause similar effects. Patients will fake ADHD symptoms in order to get a prescription. Users report that acquiring a prescription is not difficult and in some cases doctors can be held responsible for prescribing medication.
Adderall can lead to overdose but the primary concern of doctors and law enforcement is addiction. The leading cause of addiction is the high tolerance built up after a few uses. The discomfort from ‘coming down’ leads Adderall users to take more in order to avoid the negative effects. This also increases the probability that users will turn to other stimulants. Other side effects include weight loss, shaking, and increased heart rate. According to DrugAbuse.com “A major concern for many people that abuse Adderall over an extended period is the risk of cardiovascular issues”. Long term abuse increases the likelihood of stroke and hypertension.
Illicit use increased by 67 percent and emergency room visits increased by 156 percent, unfortunately Adderall related cases are expected to increase in the next few years. Recently the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services allocated money to help those who suffer from drug addiction in order to combat the issue. Drug treatment programs, clinics, and support groups are available to anyone who suffers from prescription drug abuse.