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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Prescription Stimulants Versus Painkillers

There are three types of prescription medications that are most commonly used by people for non-medical purposes, but, two of the three are more likely to be abused by people who do not have a prescription. Painkillers, stimulants, and tranquilizers (sedatives) are three types of prescription medications abused most frequently, although a new survey has found that stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin used for treating attention deficit hyperactive disorder are not abused the same way as painkillers and sedatives. The survey was conducted using 10,000 adults, ages 18 to 49. Almost 25 percent said they had used prescription opioids for non-medical purposes, while only about 8 percent claimed to have used stimulant medications for non-medical reasons.

Presented this week at the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting, the survey also found that more than 15 percent of survey participants used sedatives or tranquilizers for non-medical purposes, with about 9 percent of those using prescription sleeping pills. Prescription stimulants, if used improperly, can be very dangerous as well as addictive and should only be used as prescribed, but, statistically speaking drugs like Adderall and Ritalin are less commonly associated with partying and are consumed more for activities like studying for a final, hence being dubbed "Yale Crack".

The Los Angeles Times reports that most people who do not have a prescription for such drugs will acquire them from friends of family members and the reasons given for taking stimulant medication that were not prescribed to them was to improve their performance and to stay awake. While these drugs may be effective tools for some in the pursuit of gaining an extra edge while studying, for others the drug is used like methamphetamine or cocaine having no utilitarian purpose. Prescription drugs are dangerous even when they are used as prescribed and it is always a safe rule to stay away from them unless your doctor believes they are the best option.

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