(HealthDay)—From 2005 to 2011, the number of emergency department visits related to nonmedical use of central nervous system (CNS) stimulants increased about four-fold among 18- to 34-year-olds, according to a report published Aug. 8 by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Researchers from SAMHSA used data from the Drug Abuse Warning Network to assess trends in emergency department visits related to nonmedical use of CNS stimulants among adults aged 18 to 34 years.
According to the report, from 2005 to 2011, the number of emergency department visits related to nonmedical use of CNS simulants increased from 5,605 to 22,949. There was also an increase in the number of emergency department visits involving nonmedical CNS stimulant use and alcohol. Each year, about 30 percent of the emergency department visits involving nonmedical CNS stimulant use involved alcohol.
"Nonmedical use of any drug, even an over-the-counter drug, can be dangerous, but these CNS stimulants can potentially cause significant and lasting harm, including heart problems and addiction," Elinore F. McCance-Katz, M.D., Ph.D., SAMHSA's chief medical officer, said in a statement. "We must raise awareness of this public health risk and do everything possible to prevent it."