Adderall is a prescription stimulant drug that is prescribed to treat people with ADHD. While ADHD is often associated with children, adults can also be diagnosed with ADHD. There is also a growing trend of people who do not have ADHD abusing Adderall and other stimulant drugs to improve performance at school, work, or athletics. It is particularly popular on college campuses amongst students using the drug to stay up late and study, or even using it as a substitute for illegal party drugs like cocaine and ecstasy. The opioid crisis has received a lot of attention from the media and society, but the prescription stimulant crisis is spreading and could soon catch up to the opioid crisis in scope and damage.
History Repeats Itself
Adderall itself is not a demon drug, and passing legislation to make it illegal will not solve the problem of people abusing prescription stimulants. This has happened before. Prescription and even over the counter amphetamines have been famously used in the past to combat fatigue and lose weight. This trend was especially prevalent in the 1950s and 1960s when smoking cigarettes were also viewed as healthy.
It used to be much easier for people to get prescriptions to controlled substances, in part because the real dangers of amphetamines were not yet known. Doctors were looser about writing prescriptions because prescription amphetamines were seen as harmless medicine used to boost mood and productivity, and ultimately improve the user’s quality of life. It was not until the 1970s that the FDA established regulations that made a justification for prescriptions more difficult, leaving those who already had a stimulant addiction in an awkward position. It is very possible and likely to suffer from withdrawals after suddenly discontinuing prescription stimulant use. The Adderall withdrawal timeline, for example, begins hours after last use of Adderall and can last for up to two weeks.
The Danger Still Exists
The reason the amphetamine epidemic began in the first place was because of well-meaning, but ignorant doctors and pharmaceutical providers were over-prescribing stimulant drugs, hoping to help patients improve their lives. They were unaware of the dangers and addictive qualities of these drugs. Now amphetamines have progressed beyond the formerly legal forms and into dangerous street versions, such as methamphetamine. But people with an addiction to stimulants can still get started or triggered by taking legal prescription stimulants by well-meaning doctors today.
It is vital that doctors pay attention to historical patterns of prescription stimulant drug abuse and the effects on society. While a doctor may think they are helping a patient stay focused and energized, they may be giving them the catalyst for a nasty addiction instead.
The current epidemic, including both legal and illegal forms of stimulant drugs, has surpassed the original epidemic in severity. Millions of prescriptions for Adderall are written every year, and the number is growing. Doctors must think twice before writing prescriptions, and patients must think twice before accepting them.Source link: