By the year 2020, the ADHD drug industry is projected to become a $17.5 billion dollar industry. Currently, it’s a $13 billion dollar one. Recent years have seen a rise in the argument on the validity of the ADHD diagnosis. Kids today are more hyper than they ever have been. They are also being met with more sensory input than ever before. Incoming generations and even current youth are growing up with devices in their hands. A world without wifi, internet, data, and text messaging will be a figment of their imaginations. Instant gratification is becoming an ingrained component of modern humanity, to a debilitating degree.
According to the Center for Disease Control, “Approximately 11% of children age 4-17 years of age have been diagnosed with ADHD (as of 2011)”. The website reports that 11% is constituted by 6.4 million people. Diagnosis of ADHD is on an increase, and not just in youth.
In an in-depth report on the state of America’s addiction to stimulant drugs, Jstor Daily writes that it wasn’t until 2006 that “ADHD wasn’t even considered a diagnosis until after 2006.” When a psychiatric journal revealed that a considerable portion of the adult population had ADHD, the terms “adult adhd” and “adult-onset of ADHD” became explosively popular. As the diagnoses increased, the amount of prescription ADHD medication did as well. From 2008 to 2012, the author cites, prescriptions grew 53%.
Dangers of ADHD Medications
ADHD symptoms see their hallmark in cognitive difficulties: absent-mindedness, difficulty focusing, forgetfulness, problems paying attention, or short attention span. Word quickly spread that ADHD medications ‘fixed’ these ‘problems’. Stimulant drugs meant for the treatment of ADHD, quickly became abused. Students, workers, salespeople, C-Suite executives, medical professionals, all started using the drug for its stimulant properties. Many don’t realize that these drugs are classified as amphetamines, which are controlled substances for a reason. Cocaine is an amphetamine as well.
At first, obtaining prescriptions was difficult. Soon brand name ADHD medication like Adderall was being sold illegally, and used in harmful ways. “Blue nose” was a college wide epidemic as students in the dozens were being hospitalized for snorting Adderall, a popular ADHD medication. Abuse of stimulant ADHD medication can cause heart irregularities such as palpitations and arrhythmia.
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