Soccer moms taking Adderall to get through daily stress
  • Wed, 06/27/2012 - 3:14pm

Overwhelmed mothers turn to popular ADHD drug when struggling with careers, family duties, or weight loss, ABC News reports.
 
According to MedicineNet, Adderall is an amphetamine that stimulates the activity of two chemicals in the brain, dopamine and norepinephrine, that promote feelings of energy and happiness. Data collected between 2002 and 2010 indicates a 750 percent increase in Adderall prescriptions for women ages 26 to 39.
 
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Adderall to treat individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but the significant rise in Adderall use among women leads some to doubt whether all women filling prescriptions for the drug take it to treat ADHD.
 
MedicineNet states that ADHD develops during childhood, but symptoms can persist well into adulthood. People with ADHD experience high levels of activity (called hyperactivity), act on impulse and have difficulty focusing or paying attention.
 
Suburban mom Betsy Degree took the Adderall prescribed for one of her children with ADHD in a desperate attempt to juggle the demands of motherhood, which, she told ABC News, “didn’t come naturally for me.”
 
Joani Gammil, a registered nurse, revealed to ABC News that she took Adderall after reading a book that taught her how to trick her doctor into giving her the drug.
 
In both cases, the women developed an almost instantaneous addiction.
 
“I couldn’t stop,” Degree said. “I could not stop taking them. I’d say I’m just going to take them one more time.”
 
Dr. Marvin Seppala, chief medical officer at addiction treatment facility Hazelden, claims that abuse of drugs like Adderall has become more prevalent among women. “We’ve got an increase in women using drugs like Adderall ending up in our treatment programs...We know from a medical perspective it’s dangerous and can cause seizures, strokes, heart attacks, even death.”
 
Drug addiction, according to MedicineNet, results from unhealthy drug use and can cause someone to become chemically and psychologically dependent on a substance.
 
People who suffer from drug addiction can undergo therapy, which aims to help a former drug addict become sober, stay sober, and reconnect with their lives and loved ones.
 
After their addictions led them down life-threatening paths, Degree and Gammil fought to become sober. They offer potent advice to women contemplating taking Adderall to ease daily stress created by careers and family life: “Don’t.” 

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About the Contributor

Jessica Davids
Cleveland
I report on FDA developments and new pharmaceutical launches, risks, and safety concerns.

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