Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Adderall Addiction on the Rise Among Women

An article published by UK’s The Daily Mail revealed that Adderall has a large growing user base – and they are not attention deficit disordered children and teens.

Women between the ages of 25 and 34 in the UK make up the fastest growing demographic of people using stimulants. When taken by those indicated for its use, Adderall normally has a calming effect on people who are hyperactive. Those that take it without a prescription often feel hyperactive and focused which is why it was formerly known as the go-to drug for over-exerted college students.

According to the article, research showed that at least 10% of Cambridge University students admitted to abusing stimulant drugs like Adderall, but now increasing numbers of women out of college are abusing these drugs as a way to remain competitive in the workplace. Young professional women in the UK who are using Adderall to stay on top of their packed schedules filled with work, school, social and family lives. A healthy reaction to stress is to find ways to calm down and take space to relax rather than taking pills to augment the ability to do more.

Taking prescriptions drugs to unnaturally be able to do more is a setup for failure – because going against the body’s natural ability to do things results in burnout. As the burnout begins to rear its head, many will opt in to using more stimulants to achieve the same effect, and this is subsequently one of the first telltale signs of a substance abuse disorder. The abuse of Adderall can lead to irritability, insomnia, mood swings, behavioral problems such as 'flat-lining' of one’s personality and even amphetamine psychosis.

Take Allison for example. According to the article in The Daily Mail, Alison took Adderall during her university exams. After she finished college she continued to use the drug because she liked the energetic boost it gave her professionally. “I took the drug for four years, it became my lifeline” she said. She soon lost weight, her sex drive and her ability to play sports while becoming increasingly dependent on the drug.

Allison is like many Britons and women in the US that are working longer hours and experiencing more demands in life. On this topic, Professor Barbara Sahakin, a neuroscientist from Cambridge University asserted, “Something has to give and, more often than not, it's us.” And because the body can’t naturally “give” as much as is demanded of it, stimulant abuse has become the answer for many women in places like the UK and US.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an overexerted schedule causing stress or substance abuse, our mental health and addiction treatment centers can help.

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