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Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A.
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Amphetamine abuse is increasing in Florida and nationwide

A good deal of media attention has been given recently to the abuse of prescription painkillers. However, less has been given to another type of prescription drug that is being abused -- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder medication. These medications include popular drugs like Adderall, which is an amphetamine used to treat ADHD.

Overdose deaths attributed to amphetamines here in Florida rose by over 450 percent in the years from 2008 to 2014. Over 19,000 complications resulting from ADHD medication have been reported throughout the country since 2013, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Although many people associate ADHD medication with children, it's been promoted for adults by the pharmaceutical industry. Adults are more likely to suffer serious complications from the drugs. They've also been linked to addiction, overdoses and fatalities.

Young adults -- particularly college students -- are among the most at risk for stimulant abuse. They take the drugs "both recreationally and for academic performance enhancement," according to a psychiatrist who runs a treatment center. However, the recreational use of Adderall has quadrupled in recent years.

In some cases, doctors may properly prescribe ADHD medication, but patients abuse it. In others, they may incorrectly diagnose ADHD and prescribe such drugs when a patient is suffering from another condition entirely.

Of course, people often get ADHD medication from sources that aren't legal. If you're not a doctor, selling or giving prescription medication to someone can have serious legal ramifications. Anyone facing charges associated with the illegal distribution of ADHD medication should take them seriously and seek experienced legal guidance.

Source: Asbury Park Press, "New heroin? ADHD drug abuse similar to opioids," John Fauber, Matthew Wynn and Kristina Fiore, accessed Oct. 11, 2016

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