There was a 300 percent rise in emergency room visits related to stimulant abuse among young adults from 2005 to 2011. 23,000 people, ages 18 to 34, went to the ER in 2011 after taking Adderall and Ritalin, according to The New York Times. When stimulants are not taken as prescribed and/or mixed with other drugs like alcohol (about one-third of the ER visits involved alcohol), it can be extremely dangerous.
The findings did not include illegal stimulants like methamphetamine.The report was conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Their findings showed a steep rise in emergency room visits for the use of stimulant among young adults ages 18 to 25.
When alcohol and amphetamines are used in conjunction individuals have the false feeling that they are less intoxicated than they actually are. When amphetamines are combined with alcohol, it can change one’s perception of how intoxicated they are, increasing the risk of alcohol poisoning and alcohol-related injuries.
“Nonmedical use of any drug, even an over-the-counter drug, can be dangerous, but these [central nervous system] stimulants can potentially cause significant and lasting harm, including heart problems and addiction,” SAMHSA Chief Medical Officer Elinore F. McCance-Katz, MD, PhD, said in a news release. “We must raise awareness of this public health risk and do everything possible to prevent it."