Stimulant Use

These are considerations for use of prescription stimulants and should not serve as medical guidance, but rather as a resource for healthcare professionals.

Monitor for potential abuse and dependence

CNS stimulants, including Adhansia XR, other methylphenidate and amphetamine-containing products, have a high potential for abuse and dependence.1

It is important for prescribers and their patients to be aware of these risks, as well as their potential for diversion:

  • Prescription stimulant misuse, as defined below, can lead to serious adverse effects, including cardiac problems in people with pre-existing cardiac abnormalities; the potential for habitual use; and the danger of overdose2
    • The misuse of prescription stimulants can lead to substance use disorder, addiction, physical dependence, or overdose1,3,4
    • Addiction can last a lifetime, lead to death, and requires treatment3
    • Stimulant misuse among young adults (18-25 years old) is more than double any other age group5
  • Prescription drug diversion often happens when people (regardless of age) receive stimulants for free from a friend or relative6
    • It is especially common among college students, and students with ADHD, who are frequently approached to divert their medication7,8
    • Diversion is also a problem in adults in general.9 For example, parents of children with ADHD may divert their child's medication to themselves10

Tips for healthcare providers

Before prescribing Adhansia XR:

  • Assess the risk of abuse1
    • Ask patients about other medications they currently take to identify potential misuse11
    • Ask patients if they or a family member have ever misused prescription medications, or abused alcohol, prescription medicines, or street drugs11
    • Use evidence-based screening tools to identify potential misuse or abuse11
  • Check electronic health records to assess patients' medical and prescription history12
  • Check your state's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) to identify individuals at risk for misuse and patients who are obtaining controlled substances from multiple providers13
  • Use electronic prescribing for controlled substances to help improve efficiency, promote patient safety, and reduce diversion14,15
  • Advise patients and their caregivers1:
    • That Adhansia XR is a federally controlled substance, and it can be abused and lead to dependence
    • Not to give Adhansia XR to anyone else
    • To store Adhansia XR in a safe place, preferably locked, to prevent abuse
    • To comply with laws and regulations on drug disposal
      • To dispose of remaining, unused, or expired Adhansia XR by a medicine take‑back program if available

After prescribing Adhansia XR:

  • Monitor for signs of abuse and dependence, keep careful prescription records, and educate patients about abuse and diversion1
  • Take note of increases in the amount of medication requested, or unscheduled or early refill requests11
  • Re-evaluate the need for Adhansia XR use1
  • Refer patients to receive appropriate treatment if they developed a substance use disorder11

Additional resources

Some additional information on considerations for use of prescription stimulants is available on the following government websites:

Important definitions


The intentional non-therapeutic use of a drug to achieve a desired psychological or physiological effect.1


The act of taking a medication in a manner other than prescribed; taking another person's prescription; or taking a medication to feel euphoria.11


A chronic, relapsing disease, characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences.3


The unlawful channeling of regulated pharmaceuticals from legal sources to the illicit marketplace. This includes transferring drugs to people for whom they were not prescribed.16