background information
How are students abusing these prescription drugs?
How are the drugs so readily obtained?
Learn more about this nationwide epidemic.
The Facts: Starting Young
Pharmacists are filling presciptions with more ADHD drugs than ever before. Nineteen million were filled in 1999, a rise of 500 percent since 1991. Although there are on national surveys documenting Ritalin abuse on college campuses, several studies done within the few couple years indicate heavy usage from middle school and high school students. Do the math.

Within the last decade, hospital emergency rooms throughout the country have seen six times as many cases related to ADHD drug abuse, according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network, which tracks drug abuse cases for federal health authorities.

Reports continue to show that ADHD drug abuse is only getting worst. A survey conducted of high school students in Winston-Salem, N.C., found that four percent of boys and one percent of girls had used Ritalin or Adderall without a prescription within the last 30 days. More than 2,000 students were involved in the survey conducted by a professor of medicine at Wake Forest University.

While Ritalin may not be an illicit drug, such as cocaine, many doctors are arguing that ADHD prescription drugs have too many similarities to not be considered addictive or harmful. Interestingly enough, one of the most common ways to induce the drug is crushing and snorting.

Congress has attempted to research the epidemic on a national level. Unfortunately, there is still very little data to show how or where students are getting hold of the drugs.

Novartis Corporation, makers of Ritalin argue that its product work effectively when used as prescribed. Makers of Adderall, Shire Pharmaceuticals Group had the same sentiments.

1990
2001
271 Ritalin-related emergency room visits.

1,478 Ritalin-related emergency room visits.