Emergency Room Visits Spike for Young Adults on Stimulants

Source: Dan Goldberg / The Star-Ledger

A new report finds that young adults are abusing stimulants — the kind commonly used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder — at an alarming rate.

The number of adults between the ages of 18 and 34 who ended up in the emergency room because of recreational use of stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin quadrupled between 2005 and 2011, according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network.

The data also show that a greater percentage of young adults are mixing those stimulants with alcohol, which can mask the effects of being drunk and increase the risk of alcohol poisoning.

This new report follows several others that have revealed America’s increasing dependance on these types of stimulants. About 2 percent of women, ages 20-44, in the United States are now taking medication for ADHD, up 264 percent during the century’s first decade, according to data from Express Scripts, which reports on and analyzes mental health medication trends among the insured population in the United States.

Survey data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found about one in nine New Jersey children, ages 2-17, have received a diagnosis for one of the following: ADHD/ADD, behavioral or conduct problems, depression, anxiety, developmental delay, autism spectrum disorders, or Tourette syndrome.

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