How The ADHD Trend Created Today’s Drug Addiction Epidemic

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Between 2008 and 2012, the number of 26-34 year olds taking prescription medication to treat ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, rose 84%, reports Pacific Standard Magazine. According to The Centers for Disease Control, 10,000 toddlers might be taking ADHD medication actively. Almost no research exists to support prescribing ADHD medication to children so young. Most ADHD medications are stimulant amphetamines. Adderall, for example, is regularly abused by people to give them a stimulated edge, similar to cocaine. All of the young adults who are prescribed ADHD medication likely fall into one of two categories. First, they were diagnosed at a young age and have been taking the medication so long they have become chemically dependent upon them for success. Second, they were not diagnosed at a young age and after years of struggling, they underwent an evaluation and were given medication.

Young Adults and ADHD

When ADHD stimulant medication was first being prescribed in the 1970’s nobody was guessing that today’s young adults would be chemically dependent upon the medications. “By 2012, 4.8 million privately insured people nationwide had taken ADHD medication,” the article cites. That’s an approximated 100,000 percent increase within the span of one generation growing up.

Such young people are now out of their parents homes attempting to live independently. To their surprise, they find themselves dependent upon ADHD medication and unable to take themselves off of it. Because they rely so heavily on the drugs to help them function, they are in fear of losing everything they have had to work extra hard to achieve.

It is well known today that an early diagnosis of ADHD puts someone at a higher risk for drug abuse and alcohol abuse. Impulsivity, risk-taking, and hyperactivity can all contribute to making poor decisions regarding substances. More importantly, the medication wires the brain for addiction. When someone takes a similar amphetamine substance like cocaine, or alcohol, their reward center is activated in the same way. Additionally, they have already committed to memory an important habit: drugs make everything better. Drugs can help you achieve what you want and perform well, which also has all of its own rewards.

Harmony Place is a dual diagnosis treatment center working to understand each client’s needs and provide the best individualized treatment plan possible. We specialize in medication management and treating dual diagnosis issues of ADHD and addiction. For a private consultation, call us today at  1-855-627-1417.