- Emergency department visits due to misuse of the ADHD drug Adderall -- a stimulant popular for its perceived mental boost -- skyrocketed 156% between 2006 and 2011, reports a new study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
- The researchers conclude because prescriptions for Adderall are down, the upward trend in nonmedical use is driven by diversion of the drug.
- The report notes 60% of all Adderall non-medical use is attributed to people ages 18 to 25.
One way to curb the diversion of Adderall, in which those with prescriptions illegally pass it on to others, would be to take a page from the efforts against opioid diversion by using a monitoring program to track prescriptions, study author Dr. Ramin Mojtabai says.
The total number of ED visits from Adderall misuse rose from 862 in 2006 to 1,489 in 2011, NPR quotes the Drug Abuse Warning Network.
While the most common issues related to stimulant drug misuse are anxiety, agitation and insomnia, there can also be physical problems including increased blood pressure, and occasionally heart attack and stroke, Mojtabai told NPR.