Stimulant drugs designed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder are not as likely as prescription painkillers to be diverted for non-medical purposes, a survey of 10,000 adults, ages 18 to 49, finds. Almost 25 percent of those surveyed said they had used prescription opioids for non-medical purposes, compared with about 8 percent who said they used stimulant medications for non-medical reasons.
The survey, presented this week at the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting, also found that more than 15 percent of survey participants used sedatives or tranquilizers for non-medical purposes, as did about 9 percent of those using prescription sleeping pills.
The Los Angeles Times reports that most people who took stimulant medication for non-medical reasons got the drugs from either friends or family members. The most common reasons given for taking stimulant medication that wasn’t prescribed to them was to improve their performance and to stay awake.