Adderall and other stimulants used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder have become the sixth food group for many American teens. According to a recent survey from the Centers for Disease Control, one in five high school boys have been diagnosed with ADHD. In addition, a new prescription insurance report released by Express-Scripts reveals substantial growth in young men prescribed amphetamine and methylphenidate to help them “focus.”
The Drug Enforcement Administration is responsible for documenting annual production quotas for controlled substances in the United States. The data shows that over the past decade, methylphenidate, which is used to manufacture Concerta and Ritalin, has experienced a 600 percent increase (80,750 kg), while amphetamine, used in the production of Adderall, has increased nearly 30 times since 1996 (65,500 kg). Other amphetamine-based drugs like Vyvanse did not exist several years ago, but still managed to produce 21,000 kilograms in 2013.
Altogether, there was 175,014 kilograms of legal speed sold across America last year. To put it in perspective, that is enough go-go juice for every person in the United States to pop 27 (20mg) Adderall tablets. Statistics show that although the US consists of only 4 percent of the world population, it is responsible for producing 70 percent of the legal speed.
Physicians have been feeding American children prescription stimulants for over 80 years, while adults have been maintaining fiendish addictions to these powerful drugs for much longer. In fact, during World War II, the US Military gave amphetamine to soldiers in an attempt to keep them feeling good and acting like wild animals. This was likely a solid war strategy considering Japanese and German soldiers were all reportedly tweeked out as well.
By the turn of the 1960s, speed freaks put the fear in the heart of America, which eventually led to drugs like Ritalin being classified a Schedule II controlled substance by the DEA in 1972. Today, the panic mainly surrounds opiate addiction, even though prescription stimulants continue to become increasingly more widespread among young people and on college campuses.
“There is clearly a limited place for these medications, especially for very hyperactive children and for the far fewer well-evaluated and managed adults with ADHD/ADD,” says Lawrence Diller MD. “I've watched with worried vigilance for the past 15 years the growth in the use by adults of these potentially powerful and addictive drugs. Sadly, I believe only after stimulant abuse causes the deaths of enough young adults will we address this growing public health menace.”
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.