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Steep Rise In 'Performancing Boosting' ADHD Drug Misuse

Update Date: Feb 17, 2016 08:11 AM EST

Misuse of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) drugs as performance enhancers continues to grow, findings of a new study reveal.

According to NPR, the study used data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health between 2006 and 2011. It found a 67 percent increase in misuse of Adderall. The drug remained the most widely misused drug, most likely due to its long duration effect. ER incidents misuse of the drug increased from 862 to 1,489 during the study period.

The authors of the study also revealed that users of ADHD medication reported to have obtained them from friends and family who may have been prescribed the drugs, Newsweek reported. However, they maintain that their study is not reflective of over-prescription, which is believed by many to be the reason behind rising misuse.

College students are more likely to report misuse of ADHD drugs to enhance performance before examinations.

"Trends in prescriptions for stimulants do not correspond to trends in reports of nonmedical use and ED visits," researchers wrote in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. "Increased nonmedical stimulant use may not be simply attributed to increased prescribing trends. Future studies should focus on deeper understanding of the proportion of, risk factors for, and motivations for drug diversions."

Illegal use is associated with insomnia and anxiety symptoms. Cardiovascular symptoms are rare but side effects including heart attack and stroke are known to occur with ADHD drug overdose.

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