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Alarming study: More workers are abusing stimulants on the job

A surprising number of workers in a wide variety of professions are misusing stimulants like Adderall, Concerta, and Vyvanse to keep up with their work, a frightening reality that has long-term implications, according to a New York Times report.

Doctors says people who misuse the drugs can face debilitating symptoms such as anxiety, hallucinations, and addiction if the drugs are taken in high doses, but even more than that it means there will be heightened pressure in the workplace that can prompt others to join in the trend, according to the report.

It’s been long known that college students tend to abuse the substances to power through late-night sessions of studying, but adults were not thought to abuse such drugs at significant levels, but doctors told the Times that they’re seeing it happen a lot more, especially among younger adults looking to get ahead at work.

Users typically got their hands on the pills by faking symptoms of attention hyperactive disorder (ADHD), which is characterized by inattention and impulsiveness. Physicians often carelessly write out prescriptions to these drugs without bothering to do more digging. Still others simply found a dealer or a family member willing to part with them.

It’s more than just anecdotal evidence among doctors: the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration put out a report in 2013 that found that emergency room visits for nonmedical use of prescription stimulants tripled between 2005 and 2011 between adults who were aged 18 to 34.