We live in a time when we know the dangers of a highly addictive prescription drug entering into the mainstream. We’ve seen it before with amphetamines in the 1960s. And we see it now with opioid painkillers. With all this wisdom and knowledge, can we prevent it from happening again with Adderall?
By Sara Schapmann
Gucci Mane is riding high these days on the success of 12 studio albums, a new autobiography and the creation of his own record label. But for years the American rapper was lost in a different kind of high; one that cost him around $500 a day and contributed to a downward spiral that landed him a three-year prison sentence.
Adderall (d-amphetamine) is a central nervous system stimulant, comprised of mixed amphetamine salts (75% dextroamphetamine; 25% levoamphetamine). Amphetamines stimulate the brain by increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, the neurotransmitters involved in hyperactivity and impulse control. Adderall was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996. It is used for the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults and children ages 6 and older, as well as narcolepsy. Adderall XR (extended release) is only approved for the treatment of ADHD.
The number of senior citizens with drug addiction is on the rise in the United States, and prescription painkillers, such as hydrocodone and other opioids, play a major role in drug problems among the elderly. Opioid painkillers are the fourth most commonly abused substance among senior citizens in the U.S., following close behind alcohol, marijuana and stimulants.
Adults aged 50 and older are among the more than 3 million people in the United States who have opioid or opiate addictions. Overuse or misuse of prescription painkillers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone is so widespread that President Trump has declared the opioid epidemic a public “health emergency.”
The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning on the “deadly risks” associated with the use of kratom, an herbal supplement touted as a treatment for anxiety and depression and more recently as an alternative to opioid pain pills.
President Donald Trump recently held a news conference to declare the nation’s opioid epidemic to be a “Public Health Emergency.” He outlined a wide-ranging plan for addressing “solutions” to opioid addiction and stated emphatically that it is essential that addicted Americans are supported in obtaining opioid addiction treatment.
While there are still many unknowns in the treatment of opioid-addicted pregnant women, one aspect that’s abundantly clear is that current opioid medication-assisted therapies are better than heroin for both mother and child.
OxyContin is the brand name for an extended-release form of oxycodone, a prescription opioid painkiller that is one of the most overprescribed and misused medications in the United States. Highly effective, but also highly addictive in both the immediate-release and extended-release forms, OxyContin and oxycodone are prescription narcotics with opium-like effects.
Due to widespread overprescribing of opioid pain medications in the U.S. since the 1990s, more people are being exposed to narcotics and becoming addicted to them. This has resulted in the current opioid epidemic and escalating drug overdose deaths. But this problem is not new.
A drug assessment is usually one of the first steps in treatment when entering a drug or alcohol rehab. These evaluations help clinicians develop an appropriate detox and treatment plan based on the types of substances abused and severity of addiction. Specific drug assessment tools vary by treatment program and provider. According to substance abuse and co-occurring disorders assessment guidelines created by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), some of the main components of a mental health and drug assessment might include the following:
There have been enough popular films and television programs about substance abuse and addiction treatment that most people are familiar with the terms “detox” and “rehab.” For those unclear about the distinctions, detox, or detox treatment, refers to the process of physical detoxification from an addictive substance. Detox is usually just the first step of treatment for alcohol or drug addiction.
Heroin addiction has been a societal problem in the United States for decades. Heroin addiction is on the rise in rural areas across the country, and law enforcement officials as well as healthcare providers are scrambling to address what is seen as an epidemic. The social issues related to heroin addiction are often focused on crime, but let’s take a closer look at a different impact — the medical effects of heroin addiction on the human body.
The prescription drug abuse epidemic has many consequences, and alongside more people switching from opioid medicines like OxyContin to heroin, a new report has shown more people are dying from heroin overdoses. According to the CDC, deaths from prescription painkillers quadrupled between 1999 and 2010, but during this time, heroin overdose deaths only increased by less than half. However, since 2010 there have been many reports of increases in heroin overdose deaths in specific cities and states. The new report investigated these concerns and ultimately found that the number of heroin overdose deaths across the country has doubled in just two years.
Drug and alcohol addiction can affect anyone, anywhere — regardless of gender, race or economic standing. It’s a vicious disease loaded with harmful repercussions that can take a physical, psychological, financial and social toll on the person struggling.