Health Risks of Stimulant Abuse
Stimulant abuse and its related health risks may not be headline news. But parents, teachers and other who help children or young adults grow up would be mistaken if they overlooked the health risks of abusing these drugs. Any drug education or awareness program should include a discussion of the serious harm that can result from their use.
The category of stimulant drugs includes both prescription and street drugs.
Popular stimulants of abuse include:
- Amphetamine (prescription or illicit)
- Methamphetamine (prescription or illicit)
- Ecstasy (illicit)
- Ritalin or Concerta (prescription)
- Vyvanse (prescription)
- Strattera (prescription)
- Adderall (prescription)
- Khat (illicit)
Stimulants may have a brief effect that a young person considers exciting but they can also have negative effects that last a lifetime.
Between 2005 and 2011, the number of younger adults arriving in the emergency room due to stimulant abuse more than tripled - they went from 5,605 visits to 22,949 visits in 2011. The ages of those counted in this report were from 18 to 34. Drugs included were all the ADHD drugs and over the counter stimulants but not illicit drugs. As noted above, methamphetamine falls into both categories. (Only the prescription forms of methamphetamine would have been included in these numbers.)