Prescription drug abuse in America is nothing new. Study upon study has shown that more Americans are abusing prescription drugs than illegal ones due to how readily available they are and the lack of legal consequences that come from taking them.
But mostly, the abuse of prescription drugs is associated with college students, but now there is a new face to addiction: Moms who are trying to do it all.
Across America, with the stresses of the economy, working and trying to raise a family, the people you’d least expect, are using trickery to get prescriptions.
Adderall is specifically designed to treat those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but many of those taking it actually don’t suffer from the disorder.
Between 2002 and 2010, there’s been a 750 percent increase in Adderall prescriptions for women between 26 and 39. Critics say clearly not all of these women need the drug for ADHD.
Here is our interview with him…
Celebzter: Between 2002 and 2010, there’s been a 750 percent increase in Adderall prescriptions for women between 26 and 39. Critics say clearly not all of these women need the drug for ADHD…is there an explanation as to why this is happening?
Richard: Yes, because when you go to a psychiatrist, they prescribe drugs. That’s what they do. If I go to a barber, I’m getting a haircut because that’s what barbers do. That’s the reason for it. That’s what they do. Top notch psychiatrists are more conservative with prescribing medication but they are like finding a needle in a haystack.
Celebzter: One woman spoke out saying she started taking the prescription drug to keep up with the demands of being a mother of four and that she found that she could get everything done in the household and it “would be perfect”…. is there too much demand on mother’s these days to be superwoman, thus leading them to take something like this prescription pill?
Richard: Essentially what this mother is saying is she took speed to be able to keep up with 4 children and it works perfectly, and I bet it does. But what’s going to happen with Adderall, as with all drugs, is at first it works wonderfully, then it works with problems, and then you graduate to all problems. So let’s give this woman 2 years on Adderall before the wheels fall off and she realizes she has been taking speed just to have the strength and stamina to chase 4 children around the house. As far as the social issue of whether woman have too much pressure on them to be “super mothers”, that seems to me to be very clear. I have a child, and I know how hard my wife works to be present, available and connected to our child, as do I, but having a child later in life, as she is 40, and I’m 45, we have enough experience and involvement to know that we shouldn’t have more children than we are able to be present for. I wish that all parents took that into consideration prior to having children as well.
Celebzter: But it’s not just a drug you can take once, but highly addictive, right?
Richard: That depends on whether or not you liked it. If you didn’t like the fact that your heart was beating fast and you wanted to relax for the day, but you found yourself painting your house, then it’s not addictive, because you aren’t going to like the effect. If you like the effect produced by the drug, and you found yourself more clear, more productive, more social, those kinds of things, then yes it will be addictive. But, just like all other drugs, at first it’s all fun, then you graduate to fun with problems, and then you graduate to all problems.
Celebzter: Some women have even resorted to tricking their doctors into giving them a prescription, claiming it is for their kids…. once you get to this point, it’s a slippery slope…where does one go from there?
Richard: Well, let’s call that what it is: You are using your children in order to mislead your physician so that you can engage in drug abuse. How does that sound?
Celebzter: Women also say they like the drug because it curbs the appetite and they lose weight…. that would make it even more alluring to women, right?
Richard: This is a tough one because if you went to a doctor and you were completely up front with them and you got enough of any type of drug that would suppress the appetite, in the proper dose it can be argued that it would not be mind-altering, yet still produce the effect desired, which would be appetite suppression. So if you went through that channel of full disclosure with your physician and you used the medication for this purpose and didn’t take more than required, I could see that as something that would be appropriate provided of course there was no current or past drug abuse history or addictive history or pre-disposition, or of course body dimorphic issues, or eating disorder issues.
Celebzter: Is the abuse of Adderall by women getting out of control?
Richard: More women are using it than men, at least that’s our experience at Cliffside Malibu. Where you are really getting the Adderall abuse is college students and professionals with high stress, high demanding jobs.
Celebzter: What are the side effects from the drugs?
Richard: Some of the side effects include: Weight loss/anorexia, nervousness, trouble sleeping/insomnia, weakness, stomach pain, fast or irregular heartbeat, new or worsening mental or mood problems (eg, aggression, agitation, anxiety, delusions, depression, hallucination, hostility), dry mouth, dizziness.
Celebzter: Are you personally seeing more and more women entering treatment programs after abusing Adderall?
Richard: There is an uptick in women using, but it is also prevalent among college students and professionals in high stress, high demanding jobs, whether they are women or not.
Celebzter: What is your advice to women that feel like they are becoming addicted?
Richard: The advice is always the same: If you feel that you have crossed that invisible line into addiction or abuse, seek treatment immediately at a top-notch treatment facility. We are never too busy to help anyone. Even though we are either almost always full, and because we are very expensive and it may be cost prohibitive for many people, if we can’t help someone at our treatment center, we can always make a referral to someone who can help at a price point that is more comfortable.
Here is a clip where one woman explains how she fell into the trap of taking the drug to help her get through the day.