Psychiatrist - Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center
Dr. Kimberly Dennis is the Medical Director at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center. She maintains a holistic perspective in the practice of psychiatry, incorporating biological, psycho-social and spiritual approaches…
Adderall Addiction in Women Who Crave “Perfection”
Posted in ADHD / ADD by Dr. Kimberly Dennis on Aug 14, 2013
Prescription drug abuse is epidemic in the female population. Although much of this abuse is focused on tranquilizing agents such as pain killers and sleep aids, many women gravitate toward drugs that deliver the opposite result; they do not seek sedation, they seek speed.

Adderall is an amphetamine or stimulant. It is legitimately used to treat narcolepsy and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, two groups of females, college students and working mothers, often view Adderall as nothing short of a wonder drug.

In the last decade alone, the abuse of habit-forming Adderall among young women between the ages of 20 and 44 has risen an alarming 264 percent. It is unlikely that all these women have ADHD, or suffer from another equally challenging physical condition. Instead, these women struggle with the unrealistic societal expectation placed upon them to be perfect. “Perfect” is a multi-faceted concept, which includes, but is not limited to, being smart, successful, attractive, popular, and of course, thin.

The first “at risk” group are those entering college. The pressure on a young college woman is enormous. She must be good looking and achieve academic and social success. The more competitive the school environment, the more the pressure in all areas escalates. Enter a drug such as Adderall. Taking this medication allows her to be sharp and focused while studying, and importantly, remain skinny since Adderall can suppress appetite.

The second highly vulnerable group is mothers, specifically those who work outside the home. The stress to be an attentive, nurturing mother and a dedicated, competent employee is tremendous. She is only one woman with far too many balls in the air. It comes as no surprise that stimulants are commonly abused in this population. In fact, the slang terminology for Adderall within this group is “mommy crack.” To ensure an ongoing supply of Adderall, a woman may claim to have ADHD and even visit multiple doctors for additional prescriptions.

Whether 20 years old or 40, continued abuse of this “wonder drug” does not end well. Addiction changes everything, from a woman’s personality, to her outlook on life, to the status of her health. Further, death from cardiac complications is not unusual.

If you or someone you know is abusing Adderall, seek professional help immediately.

- Dr. Kim Dennis


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I don't think anyone is refusing to acknowledge the mental health realities of men, I think the author is simply focusing on how much pressure is on women to be perfect and why they might turn to a drug such as this. There are similar pressures on men too, obviously. However, this article is targeting women. I found it interesting and accurate based on my experience.
By firsttracks  Aug 17, 2013
Ease up, dude. Pointing out one problem for women doesn't mean no one else has any problems. You are exposing what kind of human being you are.
By oldmama  Aug 17, 2013
The alcoholism rate of men is double that of women, and the street drug addiction rate of men is three times that of women. The male suicide rate is 4 times that of women.

If you refuse to acknowledge the mental health realities of men, then, in my humble opinion, you're not much of a psychiatrist, and not much of a human being, either.
By ESF  Aug 15, 2013
I have fibromyalgia and I take Ritalin as needed for my exhaustion. I am by no means am I addicted to it. It literally gives me the energy to be able to go to work and get out of bed when I am in a flare up. I do not take it everyday, only when I need it. I am a mother, housekeeper, employee, gardener, friend and run a side business. When my disease keeps me down with fatigue, absolutely I use my Ritalin.
By wishiwasroxanne  Aug 15, 2013
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