The use of Adderall without a prescription is getting higher among young adults, according to a new study.
A nationwide health survey found that the percentage of people who took Adderall without a prescription increased from 0.73 percent in 2006 to 1.2 percent in 2011 – which translates to an increase in improper use of almost seventy percent, the researchers said. Based on the results, Adults ages eighteen to twenty-five were the ones who misused Adderall the most.
During the study period, the visits to the emergency room (ER) have also increased from 0.34 percent of visits in 2006 to 0.87 percent of visits in 2011 – which represents a 156 increase, according to the researchers.
Adderall is a drug used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. People should be aware of the side effects caused by Adderall, which include: stroke, high blood pressure, increased risk of depression, unusual behaviours (like aggression), and bipolar disorder, the researchers noted.
Dr. Ramin Mojtabai, co-author of the study and a professor of mental health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said that these drugs are improperly used by young people, such as students, as a study-aid medication that helps them stay up all night and study hastily for an impending examination.
According to Dr. Mojtabai, he and his colleagues think that a lot of people, who use Adderall to help them study, believe that the drug makes them more capable of studying and also make them smarter. People need to know that there are serious side effects, and not much is known about the long-term health effects of Adderall, Dr. Mojtabai said.
In the United States, the number of Adderall prescriptions did not change over the course of the study. The findings suggest that more people are taking the drugs that are not prescribed to them, but to their family members or friends.
Researchers said to solve this problem, physicians could enter prescriptions for Adderall into a database. That way, doctors could see whether a patient is receiving multiple prescriptions for Adderall from more than one doctor. A similar database already exists for painkiller prescriptions, the researchers stated.
The findings were published on Tuesday (Feb. 16) in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
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