Increasing Misuse of ADHD Drugs by Young Adults

New research indicates that young adults misuse ADHD drugs most often. The study, published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, looked at trends from 2006 through 2011 and identified individuals aged 18–25 years as the ones who most often take the prescription stimulants inappropriately. For all age groups, the primary source for nonmedical use of dextroamphetamine–amphetamine (Adderall—Teva) was family or friends. During the 6-year study period, treatment visits involving the ADHD drug were unchanged for adults; however, nonmedical use of the drug increased 67% and emergency department (ED) visits rose 156%. Treatment visits involving dextroamphetamine–amphetamine for adolescents decreased, while nonmedical use remained stable and ED visits dropped 54%. The research was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and a National Research Service Award.