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With increased disability awareness may come responsibilities

A Social Security disability attorney might celebrate that more Americans seems to be informed about intellectual, mental and physical disabilities, as well as potential sources of aid.

In the event that an accident or illness renders an individual unable to work, Social Security disability insurance payments are an example of one such program. There are eligibility requirements, of course, including an adequate work history and the inability to perform any work for an anticipated of 12 months or more. Nevertheless, simply knowing about this possible source of assistance might be a step in a positive direction toward rehabilitation or, at a minimum, financial support.

However, a recent article suggests that the general public’s increased knowledge about one particular disability, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, might have a downside. Specifically, an increasing number of college-age young adults, between 18 and 25 years old, might be using ADHD drug treatments for nonmedical use. There were 23,000 emergency room visits reported for this issue in 2011, up from just 5,600 in 2005.

Unfortunately, the nonmedical use of ADHD drugs, such as Ritalin or Adderall, might have adverse health consequences. A 2012 study found that blood vessel and heart damage might be one such risk of nonmedical ADHD drug use.

For ADHD patients, however, these drugs have shown quite positive results. As many as 70 percent of treated ADHD patients might experience improvement in their symptoms of inattention, impulsivity or hyperactivity. Such drugs might help ADHD students do better in school, possibly improving their chances of personal and professional success.

Source: forbes.com, “ADHD Drug Emergencies Quadrupled In 6 Years, Says Government Report,” Melanie Haiken, Aug. 13, 2013

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Stephen H. Hagler

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