One in four ADHD sufferers 'fake or exaggerate' symptoms for drugs to get high or raise focus
Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:05 AM on 26th April 2011
- Ritalin and Adderall have $3 to $10 street value per pill
Some of them are students wanting the drugs to boost concentration and focus or give them access to extra exam time. Others just want to enjoy a cheap high.
One in four adults who say they have ADHD are faking or exaggerating symptoms to get stimulant medications, a study in The Clinical Neuropsychologist journal said.
Twenty-two per cent of patients seeking treatment from doctors tried to skew test results so their symptoms looked worse, a study in the journal said.
Snorting: One in four adults who say they have ADHD are faking or exaggerating symptoms to get hold of stimulant medications, a study said (file picture)
‘A lot of people think they have it because they are struggling, but it's not because of ADHD,’ the study’s lead author Paul Marshall said.
‘Often it's simply depression, anxiety or lack of sleep,’ the Hennepin Faculty Associates clinical neuropsychologist in Minneapolis told MSNBC.
Some people exaggerating their symptoms did have ADHD but overstated their reports to ensure diagnosis - whereas others did not even have the disorder.
Students often want to be diagnosed so they can get medications increasing focus and concentration, as well as getting longer times for tests, Mr Marshall said.
Ritalin: Students often want to be diagnosed so they can get medications increasing focus and concentration - and others just want a cheap high
His findings fit with an MSNBC poll that showed 38 per cent of doctors suspected a patient exaggerated or faked symptoms to get an ADHD drugs prescription.
Two of the man drugs prescribed for ADHD are Ritalin and Adderall. Both have a street value of between $3 and $10 per pill.
‘I had a patient who was prescribed Adderall by another doctor,’ one physician said. ‘I asked her (for) her medical history pertaining to ADD.
‘She explained how she had difficulty concentrating at home and how the meds had helped her maintain the A-grades she had been having all along.’
Tablets: Ritalin, one of the main drugs prescribed for ADHD, has a street value of between $3 and $10 per pill and is often sold underground at college campuses
Up to four per cent of Americans - or eight million people - are estimated to have ADHD, with many adults first diagnosed as children, according to health experts.
‘There are big cultural pressures to get these drugs,’ University of Pennsylvania neurology professor Dr Anjan Chatterjee told MSNBC.
‘As best as we can tell from survey data, there’s a fairly large number of students who are getting Ritalin and Adderall from underground markets at college campuses.’
The drugs stimulate the brain and boost dopamine and norepinephrine - chemicals that can improve attention and behaviour in ADHD suffers.
Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below, or debate this issue live on our message boards.
The comments below have been moderated in advance.
The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.