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What happens when children taking ADHD meds grow up?

Adderall Generation
Adderall Generation

Stimulant drugs like Adderall and Ritalin are commonly given to kids with ADHD. But what happens when those kids grow up?

For years, kids with ADHD have taken the drug Adderall to help them focus and concentrate. But today, adults are the biggest consumers taking Adderall to focus and to keep on top of their game at work and at home.

“There are kind of milder forms of addiction but as time goes on, we know that that progresses to a more severe state,” said Marc Myer, Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer at Pheno Healthcare Inc.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of adult women taking ADHD meds more than tripled from 2003 to 2015. And although women are more likely than men to be on the treatment, only half as many girls as boys take ADHD medicines.

While many adults say Adderall helps them stay hyper-focused and get ahead in their careers, it doesn’t come without risks. Possible side effects are nervousness, headaches, sleep problems, dizziness, dry mouth, vision changes, slowed speech, hoarseness, hallucinations, and even heart disease, high blood pressure, and seizures.

You can also become addicted and experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop using it suddenly.

“Over time if addiction is present then the use accelerates, and the person will find that they often will need to obtain those chemicals from other sources,” Myer shared.

Adderall works by altering certain naturally occurring chemicals in the brain. Studies show about 2.5 million Americans are prescribed stimulants like Adderall or Ritalin.