Teen Abuse of ADHD drugs on the rise

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It is common knowledge that teenagers and young adults abuse drugs intended to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Another study has now emerged to validate this increasingly disturbing trend, a trend that is long-standing enough to make one wonder, “what can be done about this?” In particular, abuse of stimulants such as amphetamines used to treat ADHD is on the rise. The number of calls to poison control centers regarding teens who have abused ADHD drugs increased 76% between 1998 and 2005, according to a recent study published in the online version of Pediatrics. Jennifer Setlik, MD, of the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, and colleagues, commenting, stated, “The sharp increase, out of proportion to other poison center calls and general poison center use, suggests a rising problem with abuse, teen abuse, and particularly teen ADHD stimulant medication abuse… It may be that abuse is rising, or it may be that increased calls are a result of the escalating severity, perhaps reflecting the shift toward amphetamine use.” Click here to read an article from a Medpage Today that discusses this trend more.

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