Tags: attention deficit | ADHD | drugs | workplace | millennials

Young Workers Using ADHD Drugs for Competitive Edge: NYT

By    |   Monday, 20 Apr 2015 07:12 AM

Medicines like Ritalin and Adderall prescribed to help sufferers of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and long known to be abused by college students are now being further misused — this time by younger workers striving to boost their productivity, The New York Times reported.

The so-called ADHD drugs, amphetamine-based stimulants, have become a lifestyle crutch for some, according to an article in the medical journal Lancet. The Times reports they are being used as an aid in meeting professional deadlines, perking up concentration and boosting motivation, especially in getting boring work done.

Pilots and athletes are forbidden from using ADHD drugs. Selling the medicine illegally is a federal crime. Still, some in high-tech and finance say they turn to the drug illicitly to keep them competitive. They tell their doctors they are having difficulty concentrating at work to get prescriptions. Others get the drug from friends or dealers, the Times reported.

In high doses, the medicine can be addictive and contribute to sleeplessness, anxiety, and hallucinations. Rapid heartbeat and sweating are among the other side effects. To unwind after abusing the stimulant, users may turn to tranquilizers or alcohol.

Emergency room visits connected to ADHD-like drug abuse have tripled since 2005 among adults 18 to 34, hitting 23,000 as of 2011, the Times reported.

"You'd see addiction in students, but it was pretty rare to see it in an adult," Kimberly Dennis of Timberline Knolls, a Chicago-area drug treatment facility for women, told the Times. "We are definitely seeing more than one year ago, more than two years ago, especially in the age range of 25 to 45."

One 20-something woman, who slept just a several hours a night, told the Times that she had needed the drug to stay competitive. "Friends of mine in finance, on Wall Street, were traders and had to start at 5 in the morning on top of their games –— most of them were taking Adderall," she said. "You can't be the one who is the sluggish one."

With the increase in ADHD prescriptions has come a sharp rise in young adults — dentists, lawyers, and mothers — seeking treatment for drug abuse.

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Medicines like Ritalin and Adderall prescribed to help sufferers of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are now being misused by millennial-age workers striving to boost their productivity, The New York Times reports.
attention deficit, ADHD, drugs, workplace, millennials
356
2015-12-20
Monday, 20 Apr 2015 07:12 AM
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