Why are more kids than ever before overdosing on ADHD drugs in America?
Did you know that the number of U.S. children unnecessarily exposed to powerful medications meant to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has gone through the roof over the past few years? In fact, over a 15-year period, unnecessary exposure to ADHD drugs has increased by more than 60% according to reports!
Study on ADHD Drug Exposure
Recently there was a report published by the American Academy of Pediatrics on ADHD drug exposure and reports to poison control centers indicate:
- In the year 2000, there were 7,018 calls to poison control centers related to an ADHD drug
- In 2014, there were 11,486 calls to poison control centers related to an ADHD drug
The study defines “exposure” to an ADHD drug as “unnecessary ingestions, inhalation or absorption” of ADHD medications. This includes when the exposure to the drug is both accidental and on purpose.
The study examined data from approximately 156,000 poison center calls made over the course of 15 years. Another disturbing aspect of the data they collected showed:
- 82% of the calls were “unintentional exposure”
- 18% were “intentional exposure”
When taking a closer look at the ADHD drug exposure statistics, the researchers focused in on four of the most common medications used to treat ADHD, including:
Ritalin was the ADHD drug with the highest number of exposures.
One of the lead authors of the study is Dr. Gary Smith. When discussing the conclusions made during the study, Smith states:
“What we found is that, overall, during that 15 years, there was about a 60% increase in the number of individuals exposed and calls reported to poison control centers regarding these medications.”
Smith also concludes that one of the more troublesome findings in the study is the severity of the exposures among the adolescents due to intentional exposure. So essentially, 18% of the calls coming into poison centers concerning an ADHD drug were due to kids taking the medications on purpose.
The study also compared these medications across three different age groups:
- 0-5 years
- 6-12 years
- 13-19 years
In the 0-5 year age group, they discovered that unintentional exposure was due to “exploratory behaviors”. However, with children 6-12 years old, exposure was due to:
- “Therapeutic errors”
- “Accidentally taking multiple pills”
Sadly, among the group 13-19 years old, more than 50% of exposures to an ADHD drug were intentional. Researchers note that many teenagers will use these stimulants because.
Even worse is, of all the poison center calls, around 10% resulted in a serious medical outcome. 10% may not seem like a lot, in regards to poisoning from medications any number is too many.
Ups and Downs
Smith did note that there were some ups and downs in the trends concerning ADHD and complications from the medications. For instance, the study notes:
- Between 2000 and 2011- ADHD drug exposures increased by 71%
- Between 2011 and 2014- ADHD drug exposures dropped by 6.2%
It is unclear why there was this decrease in ADHD drug exposure rates. However, some believe it may be due to the fact that warnings from the FDA about the adverse side-effects of ADHD medications could play a big part in it.
Another thing that stands out about this study is that we have also seen a steady increase in the rate of ADHD diagnosis. Case in point, according to new reports:
- 14% of all American children were diagnosed with ADHD in 2014
- Between 2005 and 2014 the number of ADHD diagnoses more than doubled
While it is important to note that these medications can be helpful for some, they can also be extremely dangerous. According to Dr. Benjamin Shain of NorthShore University HealthSystem and the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine,
“Adverse effects of taking too much stimulant medication include fast heart rate, increased blood pressure, tremors, and agitation. Worse case scenarios include schizophrenic-like psychosis, heart attack, stroke, seizures and death,”
Shain adds that adverse effects are the same if you do or do not have ADHD, or if you take too much of the medication. So people who are prescribed an ADHD drug still run the risk of suffering through some of these side-effects.
Making Safer Choices
At the end of the day, it is all about making safer choices for yourself or your loved one. When it comes to treating attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, there are other important elements. Various therapies can be helpful in creating a more comprehensive treatment plan, such as:
Ironically, these same therapies are also extremely helpful for those who may find themselves abusing these kinds of prescription medications. People suffering from substance use disorder can benefit greatly from these opportunities.
Because these ADHD drugs are stimulants, they also have a tendency to be abused. Either by those with a medical prescription who use too much of the drug or by those with no medical need who use them for the feelings of energy and focus they get. Again, in the case of prescription stimulant abuse, the beginning of a path to recovery means making safer choices. One of the best choices you can make is to seek professional and effective treatment options.
Palm Partners Recovery Center believes in providing innovative and personalized treatment options to anyone battling with substance abuse or addiction. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
People take supplements for all types of reasons. Some take them for weight loss, and others take them for energy and building muscle, and some might just be taking vitamins and food supplements to stay healthy and balanced.
However, a new study has found that these same supplements may not be nearly as healthy as you hoped, with the secret ingredient being a synthetic speed that’s never been tested on humans! 11 different supplements were discovered to contain this mystery mix, with the worst of it all being that the FDA has known about it for years.
Mixing Up the Medicine
Drugs manufactured by the pharmaceutical industry are hardly perfect. Some have nasty side effects, don’t always work for every patient, and can be misused or overprescribed. Given the dangers, most doctors have full knowledge of what proper ingredients are in a medication, but that is not always the case when people choose to take herbal supplements.
Authors from a study published in the journal Drug Testing and Analysis had collected samples of 21 products that claim to be manufactured from Acacia rigidula, most marketed as a weight-loss supplement. Out of those 21 over half of the products exposed the presence of a synthetic amphetamine.
This wouldn’t be so bad, except this chemical is ONLY made in a lab but is being marketed as a “natural” supplement. And even worse, it has never even been tested for the safety of its effects on humans. The ingredient in question just so happens to be ß-methylphenylethylamine (BMPEA). In 2013 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted its own study of these supplements that had found the exact same ingredient.
Reporting the Problem
There was hope that after the agency’s findings it would cause the removal of BMPEA from Acacia rigidula products, since they were sold as a natural supplement formula and that ingredient did not match the description. But in the new report researchers found a higher percentage of artificially enhanced powders and pills than discovered two years ago!
It was later reported that 10 of the supplements found to contain BMPEA were all manufactured by the same Georgia company, Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals. Despite the president of the company’s claim that the amphetamine is a naturally occurring alkaloid produced by the plant itself, this newest study notes that BMPEA has never been found in extracts derived directly from the plant, so the president of Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals statement was quickly disproven.
So why is it that this company is so adamant about using an unnatural amphetamine in its “natural” supplements?
The FDA’s Failure
One of the biggest problems with this whole thing is that manufacturers of dietary supplements don’t need FDA approval before advertising their merchandise. The FDA claims to enforce regulation by prohibiting “false or misleading statements” and demanding that products be safe for consumption, but these standards are very loosely enforced.
Law enforcement personnel, however, are beginning to pursue action against manufacturers that sell products that do not contain the ingredients listed on the bottle. Over a dozen state attorney generals in the nation are demanding Congress investigate the FDA’s role in policing the supplement industry and expand its regulatory authority.
Considering the dangers associated with drugs containing amphetamine and their abuse, the fact that supplements that are sold as a healthy resource actually consist of this kind of chemical is disturbing. Prescription drugs are put through a lengthy and in-depth process for approval to be used on the masses, rigorously examined for health benefits and adverse side-effects. So why would we not expect the same kind of care and consideration to be put into regulating supplements?
Why is the FDA willing to allow Big Pharma to distribute an amphetamine with essentially minimum data (if any at all) that suggests it is an acceptable and safe product?
Is there a possibility for supplement abuse to become something like prescription pill abuse? This raises too many questions, and there is no alternative to the truth.
Amphetamine is a key component in a handful of dangerous and deadly drug addictions, and whether it is in a prescription medication, an illicit street drug, or a supplement this is a scary secret ingredient that can create risky habits. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
By Cheryl Steinberg
I was officially diagnosed with ADD/ADHD near the end of my middle school career. I remember my parents wanting to make sure that I had “documentation” of my diagnosis before I went to high school; I was on the path to a competitive science- and technology-based high school in my county – one that I couldn’t attend unless I passed a grueling entrance exam that heavily emphasized knowledge in those two areas, areas that, growing up female, caused me anxiety as I thought I was “no good” at those kinds of things. The documentation would allow me certain accommodations. One in particular was un-timed tests. This would come in handy for that daunting entrance exam.
I have an older brother who, practically from birth, displayed extreme hyperactive and impulsive behaviors – ones that he pretty much took out on me. As a girl, my ADD/ADHD manifested itself differently: I wasn’t so much hyper as distractible, taking way longer than my peers to complete tasks and assignments. In fact, in-class assignments were the bane of my existence. There were countless times I would come home from school with a book bag full of papers at the top of which my teachers had written “Incomplete” in glaring red ink.
Throughout high school and college, I would intermittently take my prescribed ADD medication, first Ritalin, later Dexedrine and then Adderall: all the usual suspects when it comes to “smart drugs.” I didn’t like the way amphetamines made me feel and so I stopped taking them as prescribed and would only take them as needed, such as when I had an exam to cram for or if I had to pull an all-nighter in order to finish a paper.
Fast forward through several years of active addiction, abusing everything from opiates, benzos, cocaine, crack, and even amphetamines, it’s now been two and a half years since I went to treatment and decided to turn my life around.
Two and a half years and, although my health has returned in many ways, I’m still considered “shot out” when it comes to my memory – or lack thereof.
Memory Problems: ADHD Drugs or PAWS?
In treatment, I learned about PAWS – Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome – a set of symptoms that can affect you physically as well as mentally, specifically, your cognitive abilities, one of which being memory.
I learned how PAWS can affect former drug users for as long as two years after their last use but, that PAWS symptoms could return at any point over the course of their entire lifetime.
I struggle to remember names and even faces, often re-introducing myself to someone two and even three times, not realizing that we’ve already met and even had conversations before. As you can imagine, this is quite embarrassing. Other indications of my memory issues are that I often re-tell the same stories to the same people – more than once – and I also simply lack memories; everything is pretty hazy.
Well, a new study showed that, over time, cognitive enhancing substances, such as so-called smart drugs – or study drugs, can have a negative impact on the brain’s plasticity; the same drugs that could give students a “leg up” could also have long-term negative consequences on their memory.
New research published in the journal Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience indicated that ADHD drugs can affect the brain’s plasticity, which negatively impacts people’s ability to switch between tasks, plan ahead, and be flexible in their overall behaviors. Rat studies on Methylphenidate, otherwise known as Ritalin and Concerta, show that even low doses of the drug can harm memory and complex learning abilities.
The study also examined the use of ampakines, which are currently being studied by the military to increase alertness. Researchers found that the drugs can be particularly harmful for young people, resulting in an overstimulated nervous system that can actually kill nerve cells. But despite this, the authors of the study wrote that “the desire for development of cognitive enhancing substances is unlikely to diminish with time; it may represent the next stage in evolution – man’s desire for self-improvement driving artificial enhancement of innate abilities.”
Often times, people who are prescribed powerful medications such as amphetamines or painkillers for legitimate reasons then become physically and psychologically dependent on them. If you are abusing your prescribed drugs or any other substances and want help getting out of the cycle, we’re here for you. Call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to speak directly with an Addiction Specialist who can answer your questions.
The abuse of amphetamines and methamphetamine, such as crystal meth, is quite serious and therefore amphetamine and methamphetamine abuse treatment is available to those who struggle with one or both of these drugs.
Amphetamine and Methamphetamine: What’s the Difference?
In a nutshell: one molecule.
That’s right; amphetamines, like Ritalin, Dexedrine, and Adderall are kissing cousins with meth. Besides that one little molecule, the other difference is that the use of one is socially-acceptable and legal (amphetamines) and the other is considered ‘dirty’ as well as being illegal.
The chemical difference between the two boils down allows meth cross the blood-brain barrier a little faster, giving it that extra ‘kick’ when compared to its legal version. After that, meth breaks down fast into dextroamphetamine, the dominant salt in Adderall, which just so happens to be America’s leading ADHD drug and favorite study drug.
There are a whole slew of reasons behind the whole “good” amphetamine versus “bad” methamphetamine but, actual chemistry isn’t one of them. There is very little difference between Adderall and street speed that really comes down to politics and the almighty dollar. As you might have guessed, Big Pharma is the driving force behind these politics.
Amphetamine and Methamphetamine Abuse Treatment: Detox
The first step in the process of your amphetamine and methamphetamine abuse treatment is a medical detox. During this stage, individuals are given a confidential assessment in order to find out what drugs and how much is currently in your system, as well as the length of time you have been using so-called study drugs and/or meth.
Typically people are required to take a drug test and meet with an intake counselor to give a brief drug history to help with the initial assessment, and again all the results and information you share are kept confidential. These tests are done in order to make a treatment plan that will best serve your specific needs. Plus if there is any other potential for risk then the staff would want to be aware in order to make sure all of your medical needs are met.
During the detox period of amphetamine and methamphetamine abuse treatment, everything will be done to assure you are kept comfortable. Meals and other needs provided and may be given medication to assist you in your detox from stimulant drugs in both a safe and comfortable way.
Amphetamine and Methamphetamine Abuse Treatment: Inpatient Treatment
Also called “rehab,” this makes up the bulk of your time spent in treatment – about 30 days. Rehab offers you safe haven while starting to build a foundation for your recovery from amphetamines and methamphetamine. Some stimulant drug addiction treatment programs last longer, from weeks to months longer for those who want to get as much professional treatment as possible.
During your amphetamine and methamphetamine abuse treatment, you will continue to have your needs addressed while living in the residences provided. These residences have access to all the facilities you will need to make your stay confrontable and convenient. Inpatient rehab consists of both individual and group therapy sessions where you will learn about substance abuse and gain the tools – healthy coping methods – to incorporate into your new, healthy lifestyle so that you don’t need to be physically and psychologically dependent on drugs.
Abusing drugs of any kind causes changes to brain chemistry and even to brain structures, making it ever more difficult to stop on your own. There’s lots of good news about this, though. First, even though drugs profoundly affect the brain and body, healing and full recovery is possible. Secondly, help is available in the form of amphetamine and methamphetamine abuse treatment programs that specialize in helping you recovery. Cal toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to find out more.
Adderall is a medication created by a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Adderall is typically used to treat the symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adderall is also a dangerous drug that is classified as a central nervous system stimulant. This medication is frequently prescribed by a physician who will normally start a patient on a low dose, gradually increasing it if necessary.
Adderall Addiction Treatment in Hilton Head, SC: Teen Adderall Addiction
Teen Adderall abuse is common because of stress and time management issues throughout school, especially young people in college who seek to abuse Adderall as a means to maintain study patterns. Education on the dangers of Adderall abuse and better ways to manage time, activities, homework and other school-related items, is so important because it will promote healthy methods of studying and avoid the devastating damage done to the mind and body by using the drug to ward off sleep.
Adderall Addiction Treatment in Hilton Head, SC: Abuse across the Board
Adderall is a highly addictive drug, especially when taken for a long time. Individuals become physically and psychologically addicted to it, and Adderall addiction treatment in Hilton Head, SC is designed to address both areas of risk from Adderall abuse. Due to its stimulant qualities, those who abuse Adderall experience feelings of being on top of the world. The stimulant drives them and they feel it helps them accomplish more than they can without it. While these may seem like positive effects, the long-term effects of Adderall abuse are nowhere near desirable.
Adderall abuse occurs when people take Adderall for reasons other than out of a medical necessity. Some people may take Adderall to help them stay up longer, for instance, or be more active and energized. With Adderall abuse, there is addiction and dependence. Adderall abuse also leads to a great deal of health issues.
Adderall Addiction Treatment in Hilton Head, SC: Symptoms of Adderall Abuse
One major problem with long term Adderall addiction is that the brain becomes overexcited over an extended period of time and some people experience psychosis and hallucinations after many years of taking the drug. Memory loss is also a common occurrence among people who have been dependent on Adderall for a long term. Adderall addiction treatment in Hilton Head, SC does what is necessary to identify these issues and do everything to promote healthy rehabilitation.
- Shortness of breath
- Uncontrollable shaking
- Difficulty sleeping
- Changes in sex drive
- Stomach pain
- Heart Problems
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
Adderall Addiction Treatment in Hilton Head, SC: Symptoms of Withdrawal
Since you’re getting a higher potency of the drug when you snort it, you are more likely to experience stronger withdrawal effects. These effects can make it difficult to stop taking the drug, which is why many addicts find it difficult to enter into recovery. The following are some of the withdrawal affects someone who is snorting Adderall experiences.
Adderall Addiction Treatment in Hilton Head, SC: Treatment Options
Adderall addiction treatment in Hilton Head, SC offers several levels of care for people seeking help with their substance abuse. These levels of care include:
- Medical Detox
- Intensive Outpatient (IOP)
- Aftercare Options
Each level of care gives the individual an opportunity to receive a variety of therapy options to help them transition between phases of treatment. Medical detox provides a safe and effective way to separate from the substance with the help of maintenance medications, inpatient gives hands on approach to therapy and continued medical treatment. Outpatient grants more freedom while still keeping with the regular therapy and recovery related courses, and aftercare gives people the chance to attended continued therapy and relapse prevention work after treatment. Adderall addiction treatment in Hilton Head, SC is set up to keep the process of getting off Adderall and any other narcotic medications easier, to help promote healthy and consistent growth in sobriety.
Adderall addiction and abuse of prescription medication is a dangerous and deadly illness, but addiction is also treatable. Despite the long term affects of Adderall addiction, Adderall addiction treatment in Hilton Head, SC as well as other celebrated treatment facilities is geared toward lasting recovery. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135