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Adult ADHD Drug Use Skyrockets

By Jeannine Athens-Virtue

The Strattera television depicted a distracted man forgetting his car keys, arriving late to appointments and failing to complete work assignments on time. In the forefront of many adults minds was, "Yeah, I can relate."

Today more and more adults are looking at their newly diagnosed ADHD children and seeing a bit of themselves in the symptoms. More and more adults are looking at the ADHD advertising aimed toward adults and putting the pieces of a distracted childhood into perspective. And today, more and more adults are flocking to the doctors office looking for help in managing their ADHD symptoms.

In fact, according to recently released data from Medco Health Solutions, one of the countries largest prescription benefit manager, adult use of ADHD medications has doubled since the year 2000.

Children are nipping closely at the heels of adults, with an increase in ADHD drug use of 56 percent during the same time.

Additionally, the Medco data also revealed the following;

_ Spending on ADHD drugs quadrupled.

_ Prescription ADHD drug use increased 104 percent for women between the ages of 45 and 64.

_ Women between the ages of 20 and 44 lay claim to the fastest growing segment, with use of prescription ADHD drugs up 113 percent.

_ Adult women outpaced men in ADHD drug use in both age categories.

Doctors currently treat about 1 percent of adults, which translates to nearly 1.5 million Americans aged 20 and older who take ADHD medicine. These figures, as well as other studies, dispel the earlier beliefs that children with ADHD would outgrow their ADD by adolescence. It is estimated that about 50 percent of adults still have problems with ADHD that affect their present functioning. And now, many are staying on their medication beyond adolescence.

Attention Deficit Disorder, which is more commonly diagnosed in children, has become a growing problem in the workplace. Chances are, if you work in an office setting, you've spotted a few of them. They may have symptoms that include fidgeting, difficulty staying "on task and missed deadlines. The ADHD adult might seem uncomfortable at meetings that require sitting still for extended periods of time. Their desks are often in disarray and interrupting colleagues is a common annoyance.

According to a study conducted this year by the Harvard Medical School, Attention Deficit can have a very significant economic impact on employees. According to this study, household income for high school graduates with ADHD is almost $11,000 less than a person without ADHD. And college graduates who suffer from ADHD have an income nearly $4,000 less than their counter parts.

Adequate treatment can greatly improve many facets of the ADHD adult's life, including relationships, parenting skills, job performance and even sex lives. That said, ADHD treatment does not always include the use of pharmaceutical drugs. Using natural approaches to treat ADHD are highly suggested for adults who have tried the ADHD drugs to little satisfaction, adults with a history of drug or alcohol abuse and adults who simply want a more healthful and less damaging way of managing their health.

Below is an adult symptom test with a symptom list unique to the Attention Deficit Disorder adult. Test yourself with this self symptom test, along with the Attention Deficit Disorder symptom test for children. This self symptom test is not a diagnostic test but a source of information for the adult trying to determine if Attention Deficit Disorder might be present in their adult life.

_ An internal sense of anxiety.

_ Impulsive spending habits.

_ Lack of attention to detail.

_ Family history of ADD, learning problems, mood disorders or substance abuse problems.

_ Frequent distractions during sex.

_ Frequently misplace the car keys, your purse or wallet or other day-to-day items.

_ Trouble following the proper channels or chain of commands.

_ An attitude of "read the directions when all else fails."

_ Trouble maintaining an organized work and/or home environment.

_ Chronically late or always in a hurry.

_ Frequent traffic violations.

_ Impulsive job changes.

_ Frequently overwhelmed by tasks of daily living.

_ Poor financial management and frequent late bills.

_ Inconsistent work performance.

_ Sense of underachievement.

_ Procrastination.

_ Spending excessive time at work due to inefficiencies.

_ Frequent mood swings.

_ Trouble sustaining friendships or intimate relationships.

_ Transposing numbers, letters, words.

_ Tendency toward being argumentative.

_ A need to seek high stimulation activities.

_ Tendency toward exaggerated outbursts.

_ Addictive personality toward food, alcohol, drugs, work and/or gambling.

_ Tendency to worry needlessly and endlessly.

_ "Thin-skinned" - having quick or exaggerated responses to real or imagined slights.

If you or someone you love experiences ADHD other symptoms that significantly impact daily life, seek out a treatment plan to alleviate the problems. You won't be sorry.

Keep in mind though that treatment does not necessarily have to include the use of pharmaceutical drugs, which can have negative and potentially serious side effects. The Attention Deficit Disorder adult can find help naturally without the side effects of ADHD medication by incorporate diet, exercise and lifestyle modifications.

An adult with Attention Deficit Disorder might find it beneficial to enlist the help of a coach. A coach is a close and trusted friend, co-worker or therapist whose specific function is to help the Attention Deficit Disorder adult stay organized, on track and focused while providing encouragement.

Regular and vigorous exercise can be very helpful for the Attention Deficit Disorder adult. To keep the brain functioning at top performance, an ADHD diet packed with brain boosting essential fatty acids and amino acids is a must. The ADD adult can also meet these crucial dietary requirements for Attention Deficit Disorder by taking a high-quality nutritional supplement to ensure that they are giving the brain the fuel it needs to function properly.

About The Author
Jeannine Athens-Virtue is a freelance writer and mother of an Attention Deficit teen.

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