Ruiz hasn’t commented on the Philadelphia Inquirer (February 20) report. It said an official from another team told Fox Sports that Ruiz had received an exemption for Adderall after a 25-game suspension. But it isn’t surprising, given that the Major League Baseball Players Association last November announced that 122 therapeutic exemptions were granted last season, including 119 for ADHD. That number would indicate that about 10 percent of major league players suffer with ADHD.
Almost five percent of children in the US have been diagnosed with ADHD, according to the American Psychiatric Association. But some surveys report that Adderall usage has increased dramatically in the past decade or so - almost five percent per year from 2003 to 2011. Last year the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that nearly one in five high school-age boys and 11 percent of school-age children overall have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. In some states that number is even higher, up to almost 19 percent in Kentucky.
Adderall use spikes just before spring break as students cram for exams. It peaked to three times the average rate near the end of the fall semester, according to a study last April from Brigham Young University. Data was gathered from Twitter posts: 213,633 tweets from 132,099 unique user accounts mentioned “Adderall.”
And when a major player like Ruiz is given the green light to take Adderall to enhance performance, it is likely that more students will try Adderall, also known as the “poor man’s cocaine” and “smart drug” to help focus and concentrate. (Interestingly, boys [13.2 percent] are more likely than girls [5.6 percent] to have ever been diagnosed with ADHD.)
While those statistics are high, more alarming is a National Institute on Drug Abuse survey in 2010 that showed 6.5 percent of high school seniors nationwide have taken Adderall without a prescription. And that number is likely a lot higher: not everyone who obtains Adderall illegally will report it.
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Cindy and Reanna are in the two percent category: Cindy suffered Adderall seizures. Reanna suffered an Adderall stroke. Of course those Adderall users in the 80 percent category don’t believe Adderall heart attack or Adderall stroke could happen to them…