When Adderall and other ADHD medications first hit the market, many people were encouraged that those suffering from the disorder would get the help they need. However, as time has passed it has become clear that drugs designed to help people maintain focus and overcome attention deficits have turned into drugs that are commonly abused.
High school and college students tend to abuse these drugs at higher rates than other groups, but some studies have shed light on the growing Adderall problem among professionals and stay-at-home moms, among other populations.
In 2009 a study showed that 5% of high school students in the United States admitted to abusing Adderall. This number jumped to 7% in 2013. And a recent review of studies found that at least 5% and as many as 35% of college students rely on prescription stimulants to get them through their workload. Many experts fear that this early reliance on chemicals only increases the chances that they will resort to further illicit drugs use.
The problem with Adderall, like most abused prescription drugs, is that the pills are very effective for their targeted uses. They allow someone who is suffering from ADHD to be more focused and alert on single tasks. Doctors cannot stop prescribing this medication altogether since it does help some people, but prescribing practices need to be improved to ensure that those who do seemingly benefit an still have access, while other people who misuse the drug aren’t able to obtain nearly as easily as they can now.
The prescription drug problem has put the spotlight on the medical profession, causing some doctors and administrators to shy away from readily prescribing anything that can be addictive. This has caused further problems. Similar situations have been found in other areas of medicine, especially pain management. One of the best ways to help this for doctors to recommend more treatments and therapies that aren’t pharmaceutically-based and that are often just as effective without the side effects or risk of being abused.