Abuse of ADHD Stimulants Most Likely to Start in High School

Analysis of more than 240,000 teen and young adults surveyed shows peak age to begin stimulant abuse is between 16 and 19.

Despite stereotypes about college students resorting to black-market Ritalin to help them cram for exams, young people are actually most likely to start misusing prescription stimulant drugs in their high school years, according to new University of Michigan Medical School research.

The peak ages for starting to use these drugs without a prescription — in order to get high or for other effects — are between 16 and 19 years.

That’s according to a new analysis of national data from anonymous surveys of more than 240,000 teens and young adults, which will be published in the July issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

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