Doctors warn against misusing psycho-stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin

Updated: Dec. 14, 2019 at 10:23 AM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Psycho-stimulants are used to treat conditions like ADHD and ADD.

UMMC School of Medicine professor Dustin Sarver says these prescription drugs are sometimes misused by people who don't need it.

“The rate of which misuse and prescription uses changing is actually more in the adults than it is in children and adolescents,” he says.

The need to stay alert and focused will push people to use drugs like Adderall and Ritilan.

"Cognitive enhancement think that if I take it, I’m going to be alert, have better memory or I’m going to have a better attention span. It’s not as much ‘I wanna lose weight, or I wanna have for fun’. That does happen. But a vast majority that say they want to use it to address some sort of cognitive limitations,” he says.

People often get these drugs from other prescribed users such as friends and family, which can be dangerous.

“Fast heart palpitations, anxiety. In some cases, when you have lots of misuse, in high doses you might see things like paranoia, delusion, hallucinations, tremors, and even seizures and it can even result in death if there are enough stimulants that are used," he said.

The research shows that psycho-stimulants are effective when used appropriately; "Sarver says talking with your doctor can help you figure out if it’s the best fit for you; “You always want to talk to your doctor about ‘are you depressed, are you feeling anxious, are you super stressed out in your life right now?’ maybe there’s some other things that are going on that may not need a psycho stimulant that some cases may be counter productive.”

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