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SAMHSA News - September/October 2006, Volume 14, Number 5

ADHD Medication Misuse

Young adults age 18 to 25 have a higher rate of nonmedical use of the two medications used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but those age 12 to 17 may be at greater risk for adverse health effects, particularly from nonmedical use, according to a new report from SAMHSA.

The New DAWN Report - click to view reportThe latest Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) Report, Emergency Department Visits Involving ADHD Stimulant Medications, explains that during 2004 almost 8,000 visits to the emergency department involved methylphenidate (marketed as Ritalin or Concerta) or amphetamine-dextroamphetamine (marketed as Adderal), two medications used to treat ADHD.

Emergency Department Visits Involving ADHD Stimulant Medications - click to view reportThe rates of emergency department visits resulting from use of either of these two drugs by patients age 12 to 17 were higher in 2004 than the rates for patients age 18 and older. In addition, the data suggest that “polydrug use”—one or more drugs being used in addition to ADHD medication—was common in the emergency department visits involving the misuse of ADHD medication and may increase the possible health risks.

SAMHSA’s DAWN is a public health surveillance system that measures some of the health consequences of drug use by monitoring drug-related visits to hospital emergency departments.

For this complete report, visit the SAMHSA Web site at https://dawninfo.samhsa.govEnd of Article

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SAMHSA News - September/October 2006, Volume 14, Number 5