CLEVELAND — The Drug Enforcement Administration is issuing a warrant about a new drug epidemic that could be lurking.
“It’s very concerning because we don’t need another epidemic,” said Kathy Federico, Diversion Program Director. “Opioids are decreasing but stimulants are on the rise."
The number of oral doses of stimulants dispensed in Cuyahoga County in 2018, was 12,990,973.
The only county with more doses of drugs dispensed at pharmacies is Franklin County.
“Most of the products being abused are products either for weight loss or ADHD,” said Federico.
Cleveland Clinic Dr. Jess Levy specializes in child and adolescent behavioral health. He’s not surprised by the emerging threat.
He prescribes stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin for some of his patients but said there needs to be more education aimed at parents, patients and providers to prevent abuse and misuse of the drug.
“I make sure to have a detailed discussion with the family and the child about the risks,” said Levy.
“Right now, in Ohio, we’re seeing an increase in Cocaine and Methamphetamine on the illegal side. On the legal side, we’re seeing increase of stimulants,” said Federico.
DEA research shows stimulants are being abused most by young adults between the ages of 18 and 25. Federico said college students are using the drugs to stay awake or have more energy.
The DEA plans to use education and enforcement to fight the new and emerging threat.