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Larissa Doucette

Though commonly associated with college students, abuse of prescription stimulants intended to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a growing phenomenon among American workers. While there is no authoritative data on this emerging trend, the article cites dozens of interviews with workers “in a wide spectrum of professions” who say they or coworkers abuse drugs like Adderall®, Vyvanse®, and Concerta® to boost performance and to be more competitive, according to a report from The New York Times. The report also notes findings by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration which found that emergency room visits related to nonmedical use of stimulants among young adults tripled from 2005 to 2011. In addition, drug addiction treatment centers are receiving more adults for stimulant abuse, the report notes. Workers misusing these drugs to boost performance are placing themselves at risk for adverse effects such as sleep disorders, restlessness, headaches, irritability, and depression as well as the potential for psychological and physiological dependence, notes the article.

Among other efforts to increase awareness about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and misuse, the AWARXE® Prescription Drug Safety Program provides corporations with communication resources for educating employees about safe medication use and other related topics. Additional information about these resources is available on the website.