The Health Risks of Abusing ADHD Drugs

ADHD Drugs

All the ADHD drugs are stimulants. They have harsh effects when they are abused and even on some people who take them as directed, as they speed up the heart and can raise the blood pressure to dangerous levels. Doctors prescribe them to children and adults who are said to be unable to focus or sit still and complete tasks but there are health risks to the abuse of the all these drugs.


Adderall, a mixture of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine salts, has been involved in 20 heart attacks and 12 strokes. Most of the victims were children. Vyvanse has been found to send blood pressure to dangerously high levels. The Drug Enforcement Administration has noted that Ritalin abuse has caused cardiovascular complications.


Jack Gorman of Columbia University, a professor of psychiatry, noted that Ritalin, Adderall and other types of ADHD drugs can lead to heart disease, even when they are taken as directed. They can certainly cause this problem or even worse when they are abused, as higher-than-directed dosages are the norm during abuse.

Lung Damage

When a young person abuses Ritalin, the drug may be crushed, dissolved and injected. But the resulting solution contains tiny particles of fillers that, when the solution reaches the lungs, can block the small blood vessels where oxygen exchange is supposed to take place. The resulting damage can cause empty pockets to develop in the lungs. This increases a person’s chance of also developing lung cancer. In at least one case, a lung transplant was needed to provide relief from this problem.

The American Thoracic Society reported on this problem more than 30 years ago. The organization analyzed the medical histories of thirteen young Ritalin abusers to see what harm resulted from the abuse. Of these thirteen youth, all suffered blockages to their lungs and seven died.



As stimulants are broken down by the body, most of the resulting material is processed by the kidneys for elimination. Some of the chemicals that are produced as these drugs break down are directly toxic to the kidneys. Others cause indirect problems that harm the kidneys. For example, strong stimulants like amphetamines may trigger rhabdomyolysis, a rapid and toxic breakdown of muscle tissue. Toxins from disintegrating muscle tissue flood the kidneys and can cause kidney failure and even death.

Stimulants also cause a body to retain urine, which can cause pressure on the kidneys and contribute to headaches, confusion and kidney failure.

Many people are forced to take muscle relaxants to deal with injuries or illnesses. But some other people just like the euphoric effects they can get from abusing them. Keep reading to learn about the harm that can come from abusing muscle relaxants like Soma.


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