Adderall could become the next opioid epidemic, DEA warns trends now

Adderall could become the next opioid epidemic, DEA warns trends now
Adderall could become the next opioid epidemic, DEA warns trends now

Adderall could become the next opioid epidemic, DEA warns trends now

Officials are sounding the alarm over skyhigh rates of Adderall prescriptions - warning that abuse of the drug could lead to the next opioid-esque epidemic.

A Drug Enforcement Administration chief compared the influx of new prescriptions and high risk of abuse to that of opioids in the early to mid-2000s.

The drugs have been linked to insomnia, anxiety, seizures, hallucinations and psychosis - and there is some evidence they may raise the risk of heart disease. 

Matthew Strait, deputy assistant administrator in the diversion control division at the DEA, said: ‘I’m not trying to be a doomsday-er here... It makes me feel like we’re at the precipice of our next drug crisis in the United States.’

Prescriptions exploded during the pandemic with the rise of telehealth firms - with prescriptions jumping from 35.5 million in 2019 to 45 million last year. 

Elijah Hanson (pictured), 21, died by suicide in June. He had suffered mental health issues for years. His family said that a recent Adderall prescription he obtained through Cerebral played a role in his death

Elijah Hanson (pictured), 21, died by suicide in June. He had suffered mental health issues for years. His family said that a recent Adderall prescription he obtained through Cerebral played a role in his death

The CDC graph shows the percent of children with a parent-reported ADHD diagnosis. One in seven boys now have attention-deficit hyperactive disorder in the US. For boys and girls aged five to 17 combined, the prevelance was 11.3 percent, or roughly one in 10

The CDC graph shows the percent of children with a parent-reported ADHD diagnosis. One in seven boys now have attention-deficit hyperactive disorder in the US. For boys and girls aged five to 17 combined, the prevelance was 11.3 percent, or roughly one in 10

The DEA is working on new safeguards for over prescriptions of the controlled substance, which will affect how much of the drug is manufactured and how many people can access it. 

The opioid epidemic in the US has killed roughly 600,000 people, and the effects are still being felt today despite prescriptions being tightened. Many experts believe the fentanyl crisis was fueled by patients addicted to opioids who had their prescription meds cut.

Deaths due to Adderall use alone are uncommon, and it’s typically involved with other fatal substances such as heroin which can lead to overdose. 

But the drug, which is a stimulant similar to methamphetamine and cocaine, is highly addictive and people sometimes turn to street versions, which may contain even more harmful substances.

The above shows the number of prescriptions for Adderall given to age groups by year. It shows under-21s (light green), 22 to 44 year olds (light blue) and over-45s (dark blue)

The above shows the number of prescriptions for Adderall given to age groups by year. It shows under-21s (light green), 22 to 44 year olds (light blue) and over-45s (dark blue)

During the pandemic, when millions of Americans were trapped in isolation in an effort to stave off infection, telehealth firms like Cerebral flourished, offering people a lifeline when they couldn’t otherwise see their normal doctors.

But Cerebral, which requires users to be 18, and others have come under sharp scrutiny for what investigators have deemed overly liberal diagnoses of ADHD. 

Over diagnosis is a problem because it leads to overtreatment.

Arrive Health, a health technology company based in Denver, Colorado, estimates that ADHD drugs now makes up 2.3 per cent of all prescriptions written in the US.

This is more than double the figure from January

read more from dailymail.....

NEXT UK's prostate cancer revolution: 'Biggest trial in a generation' could lead to ... trends now