ADHD Medication Use Rising Dramatically, Especially Adults

Kermit Cole
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A report released today by Express Scripts, the nation’s largest prescription drug manager, offers “the most current and comprehensive analysis of ADHD medication use” among privately insured Americans, finding that from 2008 to 2012 the number who use medication for ADHD rose 36% to 4.8 million. “Most surprisingly, we saw the greatest increase in use during the five-year study period was among adults, with the largest gains seen in women ages 26 to 34, climbing 85%.”

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Of further interest:
REPORT: Turning Attention to ADHD (Express Scripts Press Release)
Report Says Medication Use Is Rising for Adults With Attention Disorder (NY Times)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]

6 COMMENTS

  1. “Most surprisingly, we saw the greatest increase in use during the five-year study period was among adults, with the largest gains seen in women ages 26 to 34, climbing 85%.”

    Surprising…really? From the ads i keep seeing on various websites, they’ve been marketing these drugs very aggressively for adults for some time, and i believe those pictured in the ads are usually women! The symptoms of ADHD are so amorphous and ubiquitous that just about anyone could think they might have this “disorder”.

  2. Who care if American adults want to use amphetamines it’s there own business.

    Drug laws attempt to control what you can do with your mind and what experiences you are allowed access to. Drug laws are, quite literally, attempts at mind control

    Cognitive libery is much more than freedom of thought. To believe in cognitive liberty is to believe that the individual is absolute sovereign over their own consciousness. It is an extension of the concepts of freedom of thought and self-ownership. It is a reaction against the prevailing assumption that other people have the right to tell you what you can do with your mind and body in situations that carry only a personal-risk.

    • I think there is more than personal risk in taking any psychoactive drug. Car crashes, drug overdoses, suicide, dangerous mental states where people are risks to themselves and others are possible with lots of psychoactive drugs. Most communities end up controlling at least some drugs. Even very libertarian ones. I remember Christiania in Copenhagen having to deal with the large number of heroin users back in the 70’s because of the disruption they caused the community.

      In the UK we have licencing laws for alcohol because of the harm drunken people can cause the community and the cost of providing medical care to those who have taken too much.

      There is also the issue of people being prescribed powerful drugs for a so called disease which many do not believe exists. Calling lack of concentration a disease instead of a condition that has many causes, most of the social and psychological, legitimizes a potentially dangerous practice that makes profit for multi-national drug companies.

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