Many adults who use Schedule II stimulants use one or more additional CNS-active drugs simultaneously. However, due to the drugs’ potential for tolerance forming, withdrawal effects, and recreational abuse, the researchers claim that “discontinuation may be challenging.”
In other words, some individuals may have formed addiction or habitual dependence, which could require rehabilitation or at least intervention.
Additionally, the study revealed many other worrisome patterns. It was found that following the onset of treatment, 75% of patients prescribed stimulants ultimately become long-term users.
Plus, the researchers found that amphetamine and methylphenidate products are being prescribed for more than the treatment of adult ADHD– which is their primary approved application.
More specifically, almost half of the population exposed to stimulants were prescribed a combination of these drugs with at least one or more additional psychiatric drugs.
About 24.3% of individuals were even given an additional two or more psychiatric drugs.
So, while clinical trials have been conducted for each individual drug, no clinical trials have analyzed the simultaneous use of three or four drugs at one time.
And given this lack of research, it remains unclear what treatment outcome goals should be and what the patient indicators are.
The research team also pointed out how conducting a study with specific drug combinations might not even be possible because of ethical concerns and patient safety.
The authors claimed that the individuals who were given these stimulants or other psychiatric drugs were part of a “prescribing cascade.”
For instance, 9.5% of individuals who received a potent stimulant were also prescribed alprazolam– a sedative.