The pressure of performing well in school has been building over the last few decades. Young adults have latched onto the idea that they need an extra mental boost in order to perform to the standards that they, their parents, and others believe is necessary to be successful in the workplace. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) medication has become a popularly abused substance ranging from college aged to middle school students. ADHD medication has made a name for itself as a study drug capable of improving focus and cognitive performance. What many young people do not realize is that, like any drug, there are side effects that can cause health problems, especially when abused. These health concerns include insomnia, high blood pressure, agitation, anxiety, and, very rarely, heart attack and stroke.
Emergency Room Visits Surge
According to a study published by the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, emergency room visits have increased over the years for those experiencing the negative side effects of ADHD medication. Young adults aged 18 to 25 years old are the heaviest users of these drugs (for their studying-amplified effects), and are the most likely to end up in the emergency department.
While it is illegal for someone prescribed ADHD medication to sell or give it out to friends or family members, this is exactly what is happening. The drugs that are most widely abused are Adderall and its generic versions. The use of these drugs grew by 67% from 2006 to 2011, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The popularity of Adderall and its generic offsprings is such that ER room visits increased to 1,489 from 862 over a six year period (2006 to 2011). ER visits for Ritalin and other popular ADHD medications did not have such a high rise, most likely due to Adderall’s reputation as a cognitive enhancer, as well as its extended-release formula, which has a longer period of activation than many other ADHD medications.
ADHD Drug Abuse Stems From Over Prescribing
One of the reasons that ADHD medicine is falling into the wrong hands is because doctors have been over prescribing it, according to NPR. They have either been prescribing it to people who don’t need it, or have been filling prescriptions not realizing that many or all of the pills are being sold on the black market. The American Academy of Neurology has been warning doctors of the growing epidemic, and to be more vigilant about who they give ADHD medicine to. The message has been sent to parents of the children being prescribed the medication as well, but neither warning has had the desired effects. In fact, another study, showed that many college students felt fully justified in their illegal use of ADHD medication, citing the benefits of performing better outweighed any moral negatives. Many students were found to be unaware of the side effects. If you or your children have ever had serious side effects from any type of medication, ADHD or other, contact an experienced pharmaceutical litigation attorney today for legal advice.
How have you been impacted? Get a Free Case Evaluation