Adderall Abuse is On The Rise, Study Says

By Seth Ferranti 09/16/16

Among adults aged 26 and older, recreational Adderall use has risen from 345,000 people in 2006 to 1.4 million in 2014. 

Adderall Abuse is On The Rise, Study Says

As our nation battles a well-publicized opioid crisis, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today have published a joint investigative report chronicling the overprescription of yet another drug produced by Big Pharma to sate the masses' appetite for a legal buzz. The new report claims that legal amphetamines prescribed as ADHD drugs is causing “a trail of misuse, addiction and death”—following the path of opioids.

Twenty years ago, few people had heard of ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder). ADD, as ADHD was known back then, was a diagnosis for hyperactive kids and doctors prescribed Adderall or Ritalin to treat it. ADHD was a "seldom-diagnosed disorder" in adults, but it has become more and more common as prescription standards have become more lax.

With Big Pharma actively pushing their wares like street peddlers, sales of ADHD drugs have jumped 42% since 2010. Since 2013, the Food and Drug Administration has received 19,000 complaints of complications arising from ADHD drugs like Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, and Vyvanse.

Recreational use of Adderall has also grown tremendously, with the latest available federal data reporting that 1.4 million people used the drug in 2014 compared to only 345,000 in 2006.

Emergency room visits for the drugs are also rising—cases involving the legal amphetamines have quadrupled in seven years. One in 23 adult Americans are reportedly affected by ADHD—that's 10 million people. 

“The streets are awash with Adderall,” said Nicolas Rasmussen, a medical historian who studies the history of amphetamines in the U.S. “Amphetamines are grossly overused.”

Instead of trying to help or heal our nation, Big Pharma has actively exploited people with addiction problems. The report said that experts and organizations that have tried to expand the diagnostic definition of ADHD often had financial ties to Big Pharma. In collusion with the drug companies, they helped create a market for the drugs, funneling millions—if not billions—of dollars into their pockets. 

“While opioids are more lethal than prescription stimulants, some experts see parallels between the opioid epidemic and the increase of problems tied to stimulants,” the report says.

“In the opioid epidemic, users switched from prescription narcotics to heroin and illicit fentanyl. With the ADHD drugs, [patients] have switched from legally prescribed stimulants to illicit ones, such as methamphetamine and cocaine."

Legal or illegal drugs are the same, it's all about the money that can be generated. 

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After landing on the US Marshals Top-15 Most Wanted list and being sentenced to a 25 year sentence in federal prison for a first-time, nonviolent LSD offense, Seth built a writing and journalism career from his cell block. His raw portrayals of prison life and crack era gangsters graced the pages of Don DivaHoopshype and VICE. From prison he established Gorilla Convict, a true-crime publisher and website that documents the stories that the mainstream media can’t get with books like Prison Stories and Street Legends. His story has been covered by The Washington PostThe Washington Times, and Rolling Stone.

Since his release in 2015 he’s worked hard to launch GR1ND Studios, where true crime and comics clash. GR1ND Studios is bringing variety to the comic shelf by way of the American underground. These groundbreaking graphic novels tell the true story of prohibition-era mobsters, inner-city drug lords, and suburban drug dealers. Seth is currently working out of St. Louis, Missouri, writing for The FixVICEOZY, Daily Beast, and Penthouse and moving into the world of film. Check out his first short, Easter Bunny Assassin at You can find Seth on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter.