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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Using Stimulants to get Ahead at Work

Amphetamine-based stimulants, prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), have long been a staple of many college student diets. The use of drugs like Adderall and Ritalin increase the user's energy levels and focus, giving a number of students the extra edge they need to get the job done. The majority of students using these drugs in college lack a prescription for such drugs, acquiring the drugs illicitly. The non-prescribed use of amphetamine-based stimulants begs the question, is the use of these types of drugs unique to college students and do college users stop after completing their studies?

While there is limited data on the subject, experts say that there is a growing number of people using these types of drugs for work, The New York Times reports. Stimulant use gives workers a competitive edge, leading many to feign ADHD symptoms in order to acquire prescriptions from the doctor.

Like all narcotic medications, prescription stimulants carry with them side effects, some of which can be detrimental to one’s quality of life. When taken in high doses, stimulants can cause anxiety, addiction and hallucinations. Some in the field of medicine are concerned that there is pressure in some workplaces to use stimulants to become more productive.

“You’d see addiction in students, but it was pretty rare to see it in an adult,” said Dr. Kimberly Dennis, the medical director of a substance-abuse treatment facility for women outside Chicago. “We are definitely seeing more than one year ago, more than two years ago, especially in the age range of 25 to 45,” she said.

“Given the increase in rates of abuse in college students over the last decade, it is essential that we understand the outcomes as they leave college and assume adult roles,” said Dr. Wilson Compton, the Deputy Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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