Updated on March 29, 2024
2 min read

Adderall Use Prevalence and Addiction Statistics

Adderall is a prescription medication typically used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. But recently, there’s been a significant increase in Adderall abuse.

Adderall is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, which are central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. This affects the brain’s reward system and increases dopamine levels, the neurotransmitter associated with pleasure. 

Adderall Prescription and Usage Statistics

Adderall’s addictive potential and the growing trend of non-medical use have raised concerns among healthcare professionals and the public. Here are some prescription and usage statistics that can help provide insights into Adderall use:

Increasing Prescriptions and Usage

  • In 2021, 41.4 million Adderall prescriptions were dispensed in the U.S., up more than 10% from 2020.
  • The percentage of enrollees with one or more prescription stimulant fills increased from 3.6% in 2016 to 4.1% in 2021.
  • Amphetamine use, which includes Adderall, increased by 2.5% from 2006 to 2016.

Non-Medical Use and Abuse

  • According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, around 614,000 young people between the ages of 12 and 17 have used Adderall non-medically at some point.
  • Non-medical Adderall use for ages 12 and up was predominantly among 18- to 25-year-olds.
  • Non-prescription Adderall use by young adults went up by 67 percent and associated emergency room visits rose by 156 percent from 2006 to 2011.
  • Full-time college students are twice as likely to abuse Adderall than their peers who aren't in college.
full time college students using adderal

Adderall Addiction and Treatment Statistics

Understanding the scope of Adderall addiction and treatment can provide insight for developing preventative strategies and harm reduction. Here's a look at the numbers:

Addiction and Rehab Admissions

  • Over 116,000 people were admitted to rehab for an addiction to amphetamines like Adderall in 2012.
  • According to a study, about 2% of the population abuses prescription stimulants like Adderall, and 0.2% of people have a stimulant use disorder.
  • 18.5% of people in the western region of the U.S. (Washington, Oregon, etc.) have abused stimulants like Adderall.

Age Groups and Prevalence

  • Amphetamine use in 2023 is 10.8% among those aged 23-24, which is the age range with the highest prevalence of use.
  • Among 19 to 30-year-olds in 2015, 9.3% of males and 5.3% of females reported Adderall misuse.
  • As of 2022, the percentage of 12th-grade students who had tried Adderall within the past year was around 3.4 percent.

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Is Adderall A Controlled Substance?

Adderall is considered a Schedule II controlled substance by the DEA. This means it has a high potential for abuse and addiction.

Long-term repeated use can also lead to dependency, increased tolerance, and withdrawal. Additionally, having Adderall without a prescription can be considered a felony in many states.

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Adderall is an effective medication for ADHD and narcolepsy. However, it has a high potential for abuse and addiction.

The prevalence of Adderall use and abuse has become increasingly concerning, especially among young adults. This highlights the need for awareness, education, and available treatment.

It’s important to understand the trends and statistics of Adderall use to improve preventative strategies and harm reduction. If you or someone you know is addicted to Adderall, contact a healthcare professional.

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Updated on March 29, 2024
6 sources cited
Updated on March 29, 2024

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