Stimulant drugs like Adderall and Ritalin are commonly given to kids with ADHD. But what happens when those kids grow up?
"Adderall generation" is a term that refers to young people who fall prey to the lure of prescription stimulants. Experts say they use these types of drugs as a means to deny themselves sleep and drive themselves harder.
But, as bad as that is, addiction experts say taking the drug is much easier than stopping it.
For years, kids with ADHD have taken the drug Adderall to help them focus and concentrate. But today, studies show adults are the biggest consumers of Adderall, taking it to focus at work and at home.
"There are kind of milder forms of addiction but as time goes on, we know that that progresses to a more severe state," said Marc Myer, co-founder and chief medical officer of Pheno Healthcare Inc.
According to the CDC, the number of adult women taking ADHD meds more than tripled from 2003 to 2015. And although women are more likely than men to be on the treatment, only half as many girls as boys take ADHD medicine.
While many adults say Adderall helps them stay hyper-focused and get ahead in their careers, it doesn't come without risks.
Possible side effects are nervousness, headaches, sleep problems, dizziness, dry mouth, vision changes, slowed speech, hoarseness, hallucinations, and even heart disease, high blood pressure and seizures.
You can also become addicted and experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop using it suddenly.
"Over time, if addiction is present, then the use accelerates, and the person will find that they often will need to obtain those chemicals from other sources," Myer said.
Experts say drugs like Adderall work by altering certain naturally occurring chemicals in the brain, which is of course contributing to the difficulty of becoming dependent on them.