Responsible Prescription Stimulant Use

Prescription stimulants are a class of drugs that include amphetamine-containing and methylphenidate-containing medications, which healthcare professionals may prescribe, in conjunction with other treatments and support, to manage symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).1,2 When taken as directed, these medications and other treatments can help manage symptoms of ADHD including hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention.2

Prescription stimulants are Schedule II controlled substances and, even when used as prescribed, have associated risks including misuse, abuse, and diversion, severe psychological dependence or substance use disorder, physical dependence, overdose, sudden death, stroke, heart attack, increased blood pressure and heart rate, and new or worsening mental or psychiatric problems.1,3-6 Prescription stimulant misuse can increase these risks.1,4 In addition, common side effects of prescription stimulants include decreased appetite, insomnia, and nausea.4

The information contained in this page is intended for patients diagnosed with ADHD who have received a prescription for a stimulant medication, and their caregivers.

Choose Wisely

Prescription Drug Safely Network. Powered by EVERFIThese interactive videos, created in partnership with the Prescription Drug Safety Network, feature fictionalized scenarios that people with ADHD who are prescribed a stimulant medication may encounter.

The Prescription Drug Safety Network is a national coalition committed to empowering Americans with the skills and knowledge to make safe decisions about prescription medications through digital education.

All considerations within these videos for the treatment of ADHD, including the use of prescription stimulants, are from government or peer-reviewed sources. This information is intended to be informative and should not serve as medical guidance or replace discussions with a healthcare professional. If you suspect that someone you care for may be misusing, sharing or abusing stimulant medication, speak with their healthcare professional.

For information on addiction, misuse, abuse and diversion of prescription medications, please visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) free and confidential National Helpline can be reached at 1-800-662-HELP(4357) and 1-800-487-4889 (TTY).

Ben

Ben’s Story

Ben, a college freshman newly diagnosed with
ADHD, is having trouble adjusting to his new life on campus.

Kyle

Kyle’s Story

Kyle, a high school student with ADHD, faces a difficult decision when it comes to having his prescription stimulant medication with him at school.

Leah

Leah’s Story

Leah, a young professional with
ADHD, is learning to manage her career and make responsible choices with her prescription stimulant medication.

Morgan

Morgan’s Story

Morgan, a college student with ADHD who is home for the summer, is learning about the importance of proper storage and disposal of her prescription stimulant medication.

Learn with the Prescription Drug Safety Network

Prescription Drug Safely Network. Powered by EVERFIThe Prescription Drug Safety Network has developed an interactive course to provide information on safe and responsible use of prescription stimulant medications.

This course is intended for those living with ADHD, who have been prescribed a prescription stimulant medication by a healthcare professional, and their parents or caregivers.

talking to doctor
walking
Father and Son

Click Below to Get Started

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For Patients

Learn at your pace. Engage with 4 modules that take just 5 minutes each.

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For Caregivers

Support your loved one. Engage with 4 modules that take just 5 minutes each.

The information within this course is from government resources or peer-reviewed medical sources. The course is intended to be informative and should not serve as medical guidance or replace conversations with a healthcare professional.

For information on addiction, misuse, abuse and diversion of prescription medications, please visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The SAMHSA’s free and confidential National Helpline can be reached at 1-800-662-HELP(4357) and 1-800-487-4889 (TTY).

Get Informed About Storage and Disposal for Prescription Stimulants

Safe Storage for Prescription Stimulants

When stored improperly, prescription stimulants can be found easily in a medicine cabinet or on a kitchen shelf. This increases the chances of family members or visitors accidentally taking or intentionally misusing the medicine.7,8

Get information on how proper storage can help prevent accidental or intentional misuse.

Safe Disposal for Prescription Stimulants

Proper and prompt removal of expired or unused prescription stimulants from the home can help reduce the possibility that others may accidentally take or intentionally misuse the medicine.8

1 National Institute on Drug Abuse. Drug Facts: Stimulant ADHD Medications: Methylphenidate and Amphetamines 2014. https://www.drugabuse.gov/sites/default/files/drugfacts_stimulantadhd_1.pdf. Accessed on April 2020.
2 The National Institute of Mental Health. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): The Basics. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd-the-basics/index.shtml. Accessed April 2020.
3 Drug Enforcement Administration. Controlled Substance Schedules. https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/. Accessed April 2020.
4 Kolar D, Keller A, Golfinopiulos M. Treatment of adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 200;4(2): 389–403. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2518387/pdf/ndt-0402-389.pdf. Accessed February 2020.
5 National Institute on Drug Abuse. Drug Facts: Prescription Stimulants. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-stimulants. Updated June 2018. Accessed on April 2020.
6 Cottler LB, Striley CW, Lasopa SO. Assessing prescription stimulant use, misuse and diversion among youth 10 to 18 years of age. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2013 September; 26(5): 511–519. Accessed April 2020.
7 Prescription for Disaster: How Teens Abuse Medicine.; 2018. https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2018-11/DEA_PrescriptionForDisaster-2018ed_508.pdf. Accessed April 2020.
8 S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. Unwanted Medications. https://scdhec.gov/environment/recycling-waste-reduction/unwanted-medications. Published 2018. Accessed April 2020.

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