ADHD Medication Addiction Leading to Increases in Crystal Meth Use

ADHD Medication Addiction Leading to Increases in Crystal Meth Use

What is ADHD?

ADHD or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is diagnosed in children, adolescents, or adults and is treated with prescriptions for stimulant medications including amphetamines and methylphenidate. The prescription drugs given to patients for the treatment of ADHD include Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta. Individuals diagnosed with ADHD persistently have more difficulty focusing and paying attention or have increased hyperactivity and impulsive behavior.

How do Stimulants Work?

A prescription stimulant has a calming and “focusing” effect on individuals with ADHD. These drugs are prescribed for patients to use on a daily basis and are available in tablets or capsules with varying dosages. ADHD is often treated with both stimulants and psychotherapy which helps improve ADHD symptoms along with the patient’s self-esteem, thinking ability, and family and social interactions.

Abuse of Stimulants

Prescription stimulants can be abused, just like many other prescription drugs. Abuse occurs when the drug is taken in higher quantities, in a different manner than prescribed by the doctor, or by those without a prescription for the medication. Stimulants can produce a feeling of euphoria when abused or taken for recreational purposes and is a result of the pills being crushed and then snorted or mixed with water and injected.  

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, as of 2011, 11% of people ages 4-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD. It is also reported that ADHD diagnoses is increasing across the country in recent years. As a result, more and more people are being diagnosed and subsequently prescribed stimulants for a condition that they do not have. This can then lead to abuse and development of an unhealthy tolerance to stimulants, later leading individuals to the use of illicit drugs such as crystal meth and cocaine.

In recent years the death toll for both legal and illegal stimulants has gone up 22% per year on average since 2008. Prescriptions for ADHD medications have also risen by 29.2 percent from 2015 to 2015.

Signs of Stimulant Abuse Include:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Weight loss
  • Sweating
  • Dilated pupils
  • Restlessness

About Silicon Beach Outpatient Center

We are a premier substance abuse treatment center in Los Angeles, California with over 30 years of experience specializing in intensive outpatient (IOP) treatment for adults with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. At Silicon Beach Outpatient, we address the psychological, emotional, and behavioral components of addiction while simultaneously treating underlying traumas and co-occurring disorders including anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders.

If you or a loved one are suffering from stimulant abuse, please contact the addiction specialists at Silicon Beach Outpatient Center today at 310.846.8215. We can get you the help you need.

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