Concerns about the misuse of Adderall has been growing for a number of reason. For instance, the non-medical use of Adderall has increased despite the fact that the number of prescriptions written for this drug has remained fairly stable. And, according to new research published by the John Hopkins School of Public Health researchers, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of emergency room visits. In recent years, Adderall has become trendy with students because of its ability to heighten alertness and focus as well as increase energy levels. This has contributed to the increase in the number of Adderall abuse stories among teens and young adults.
For some students like Caitlin Myers with perfectionist tendencies, Adderall becomes an important aid to meeting the challenge of maintaining good grades while keeping up with other demanding curricular activities. “I was always an A student. I rode horses and owned horses, played soccer and the trophies on the shelves kept stacking up” Caitlin said. In her own words she said she felt compelled to always be the best. This striving after perfection however, eventually took its toll and Caitlin admitted to snorting Adderall during lunch periods and consuming Xanax bars at every soccer game. Unfortunately, Caitlin’s abuse of Adderall is not an anomaly.
According to the most recent available data, abuse of ADHD medication like Adderall more than doubled between 2006 and 2011. The demographic experiencing the biggest hike in non-medical use and abuse of Adderall are mostly young adults between the age of 18 to 25. According to Ramin Mojtabai, MD, MPH, PhD, and co-author of the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study, the drug is enjoying popular use by college students as a study-aid that help them to stay up all night and cram for exams.
Unfortunately, not all Adderall abuse stories like Caitlin’s adderall abuse story, end in recovery. According to a story in New York Times about Richard Fee, and former class president and aspiring medical student who became addicted to Adderall. According to the report, the drug prescribed for him by several medical professionals. Despite his parents expressed concerns to Richard and the prescribing doctors when he had problems focusing on in college. Richard’s addiction to the drug reported caused him to consume higher and higher dosages. According to his parents, Richard became violently delusional. After consuming a 90-day supply of Adderall, Fee reportedly hung himself in his bedroom closet, two weeks after the pills expired.
The story of Richard Fee serves as a warning to other students with an overachieving spirit and a propensity to use drugs to enhance performance. In the recounting of this sad story, it was clear that even an intelligent and articulate individual can fall prey to a legally prescribed drug that is designed to help. Although Adderall produces the effects for which it is sought, Mojtabai says abuse of this drug can lead to problems such as:
The brand name for Adderall is dextroamphetamine-amphetamine. Experts say there has not yet been enough research to fully understand or predict the long term effects of this drug. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has placed a black box caveat on dextroamphetamine-amphetamine due to the Adderall’s potential to cause cardiovascular complications. The FDA warnings on Adderall packaging also indicate that it has a high potential for abuse and side effects such as aggression, hallucinations and paranoia. Individuals taking Adderall for medical or non-medical reasons are cautioned to seek drug addiction treatment if a dependence or addiction to this substance is occurring.
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