The dangers of stimulants like cocaine and Benzedrine are well-known. But there’s another stimulant that is being widely abused in the U.S.—and it’s legally prescribed to kids and adults. Stimulants prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been more commonly prescribed to adults since 2006 when a scientific study was released regarding the incidence rates of ADHD in adults. As a result of widespread use and drug abuse, more working professionals are being affected by it.
The Use and Misuse of Stimulants
As with any legally prescribed drug, it’s possible to use it safely and responsibly. ADHD stimulants have been used to manage symptoms since the 1930s. Unfortunately, the non-medical use of stimulants has been on the rise. According to Psychiatric Times, it’s been estimated that five million people during the past year have misused stimulant drugs, and 0.4 million suffer from prescription stimulant use disorders.
The Causes of Stimulant Misuse
Young adults who are misusing stimulants are often college students who pull all-night study sessions. In the workforce, adults who are misusing stimulants are trying to boost their cognitive function and enhance their productivity at work. ADHD drug abuse affects professionals across all industries, from truck drivers to nurses to lawyers to Wall Street traders. People who are susceptible to the problem are those with easy access to the drug, who feel compelled to keep up with the competition in the workplace or who are required to work long hours or on tight deadlines.
The Health Risks of Stimulant Abuse
People abusing stimulants are susceptible to any of the side effects listed on the product label. However, abuse of the drug tends to make side effects occur more often, with greater severity. Additionally, long-term or severe stimulant abuse may lead to:
- Changes in vision
- Aggressive behavior
- Chest pain
With collection sites throughout the U.S., HDS Safety Services is your company’s partner in drug and alcohol testing. Find out how you can promote health and safety in your workplace to improve efficiency and manage liability issues. You can reach our headquarters in Tucson at (520) 622-0419.