The New York Times reports that medications like Adderall can markedly improve the lives of children and others with the disorder. But the tunnel-like focus the medicines provide has led growing numbers of teenagers and young adults to fake symptoms to obtain steady prescriptions for highly addictive medications that carry serious psychological dangers. These efforts are facilitated by a segment of doctors who skip established diagnostic procedures, renew prescriptions reflexively and spend too little time with patients to accurately monitor side effects.
Richard Fee’s experience included it all. Conversations with friends and family members and a review of detailed medical records depict an intelligent and articulate young man lying to doctor after doctor, physicians issuing hasty diagnoses, and psychiatrists continuing to prescribe medication — even increasing dosages — despite evidence of his growing addiction and psychiatric breakdown.
Very few people who misuse stimulants devolve into psychotic or suicidal addicts. But even one of Richard’s own physicians, Dr. Charles Parker, characterized his case as a virtual textbook for ways that A.D.H.D. practices can fail patients, particularly young adults. “We have a significant travesty being done in this country with how the diagnosis is being made and the meds are being administered,” said Dr. Parker, a psychiatrist in Virginia Beach. “I think it’s an abnegation of trust. The public needs to say this is totally unacceptable and walk out.”
- Drowned in a Stream of Prescriptions: Young Man’s Suicide Sheds Light On Alarming Adderall, Stimulant Addiction Epidemic Among College Students (consciouslifenews.com)
- TREATING ADHD BY ADDICTING KIDS TO AMPHETAMINES? Medications like Adderall can markedly improve … (pjmedia.com)
- Spike in stimulant abuse packs ERs with students, others (denverpost.com)
- Sharp Rise In Emergency Department Visits Involving ADHD Medications (medicalnewstoday.com)
- FDA Action on Vicodin May Mean More Pain, Not Less Addiction or Overdose (healthland.time.com)
- The irony and the agony of our prescription opioid problem (kevinmd.com)
- ER Visits Linked to ADHD Meds Up Sharply (news.health.com)
- ER Visits Linked to ADHD Meds Up Sharply (nlm.nih.gov)