Adderall Use Statistics in Washington & Oregon

Last Updated: May 26, 2023

Editorial Policy | Research Policy

Adderall is a prescription drug used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but Adderall statistics show that this drug can be abused. In fact, a recent study shows that about 2% of the population abuses prescription stimulants like Adderall, and 0.2% of people have a stimulant use disorder. This problem has been seen in both Washington and Oregon.

Contributing Factors to Current Trends

Before exploring Adderall’s use statistics in Washington and Oregon, it is important to understand why people abuse prescription stimulants. People use non-prescribed Adderall for a variety of reasons, and according to the research, the most common include:

  • To improve concentration
  • To increase alertness
  • To experiment
  • To achieve a high
  • To lose weight

For example, college students may abuse Adderall in order to improve their concentration so they can study and complete lengthy papers and assignments. In addition, working professionals may use non-prescribed Adderall so they can stay alert and spend long hours working on important projects. Other people may abuse Adderall simply because they want to get high, and it makes them feel good.

Rates of Adderall Abuse by Age

According to an annual survey conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), there are no significant variations in Adderall abuse between regions of the United States. In 2018, 7.5 % of the population was estimated to have used amphetamines such as Adderall in the past year, and 2.8 % were users within the month preceding the survey. Based upon the fact that Adderall abuse does not seem to differ among regions, we would expect rates of abuse in Oregon and Washington to be similar to this national rate. In the West region, to which these two states belong, the percentage of people who have used amphetamines like Adderall at any point in their lives is 18.5, which is comparable to other regions of the United States.

The rates of Adderall abuse in the West are comparable to the rest of the nation; however, prevalence may vary by age. Age variations are as follows:

Adderall Use in Teens/Young Adults

Adderall abuse statistics show that misuse of this drug is fairly common in young adults. The past year’s use of amphetamines like Adderall is 10.8% among those aged 23-24, and this is the age range with the highest prevalence of use. Among those aged 21-22, the prevalence during the previous year is 8.8%. This is higher than the rate of teen Adderall abuse, as 5.5% of those at the age of 18 report using amphetamines like Adderall in the last year.

Adderall Use in College Students

Adderall abuse among college students is a growing problem in Oregon, with reports of students taking non-prescribed Adderall to help them study throughout the night and experts asserting that up to one-third of college students are using Adderall and related medications without a prescription. The University of Oregon in Eugene has seen students visiting the campus health center and faking symptoms of ADHD in an attempt to obtain Adderall.

The high rates of use among college-aged students are reflected in Adderall prescription rates among this age group. According to data from the Oregon Health Authority, every six months, 27,620 Adderall prescriptions are dispensed to 8,697 people in the 15-24-year-old age range.

Adderall Use in Adults

Adderall use in adults becomes less common as people transition from early to middle adulthood. The data show that from age 29-30, the prevalence of past-year use of amphetamines such as Adderall is 7.5%. By the time people reach the age of 35, it drops to 2.5%, and by age 40, it is 2.1%.

Prescription rates for adults are lower than for teens and the youngest adults in Oregon. Data shows that over a six-month period, 24,901 Adderall prescriptions will be dispensed to 7,208 people in the age range of 25 to 34, and 19,249 will be given to 5,280 of those aged 35 to 44.

Adderall Use in Seniors

Adderall use continues to decline among older adults. According to survey data, just 1.0% of 55-year-olds and 0.7% of 60-year-olds have abused amphetamines in the past year.

Prescriptions rates for Adderall are lower among seniors than in any other age group. In a six-month period in Oregon, 664 people in the age range of 65 to 74 will receive 2,299 prescriptions for Adderall. The use of Adderall in the elderly appears to be relatively uncommon.

Emergency Room Visits & Hospitalizations Caused By Adderall Abuse

Abuse of psychostimulants such as Adderall may require treatment in an emergency department in some situations to manage overdose symptoms, which can include hallucinations, agitation, panic attacks, elevated heart rate, rapid breathing, high body temperature, tremors, and seizures. According to Adderall emergency room statistics, issues with these drugs account for about 144 hospitalizations per year in Oregon.

Adderall Overdose Deaths

While some people who overdose on Adderall can be treated successfully in an emergency room, there are unfortunately some deaths from overdoses on this drug. Adderall death statistics from Oregon show that overdoses on this substance account for 7% of all overdose deaths, representing about 24 deaths per year. Interestingly, most deaths are among middle-aged men, despite the fact that younger age groups are more likely to use Adderall. Overdoses are also more common among Alaskan Natives and American Indians.

Counties With the Highest Overdose Death Counts

According to data from the Oregon State Medical Examiner, the following counties have the highest rates of overdose on illicit drugs: Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Lane, Jackson, and Marion. It is noted that among these, the overdose count is highest in Multnomah County, which is home to Portland, Oregon. The overdose count for illicit drugs in Multnomah County was 121 deaths in 2016.

Based upon these counties having the highest overall overdose rates, it would be expected that they would also have high rates of Adderall overdoses. This appears to be especially true for Multnomah County, which reported 97 overdoses on stimulants like Adderall in 2018.

In Washington, Grays Harbor County has the highest rates of drug overdose. According to reports, there are 28.8 drug overdose deaths per 100,000 people each year.

Trends in Available Treatment Resources in Washington & Oregon

While overdoses are a concern in Washington and Oregon, services are available to treat Adderall addiction in both states. Most recent data show that in 2008, there were 237 addiction treatment providers in Oregon, and there were 229 in 2018. Most of these providers were private non-profits. In Washington, there were 435 treatment providers in 2008 and 445 in 2018. Nearly half of Washington’s providers are also private non-profits.

Other Drug Trends in Washington & Oregon

Adderall abuse is a concern in Washington and Oregon, but this is not the only drug affecting these two states. The trends for other drugs of abuse are as follows:

  • Prescription Drug Abuse Trends: Stimulants like Adderall are not the only prescription drugs commonly abused in Oregon and Washington, as benzodiazepines, used to treat anxiety, are also abused in this area of the country. According to statistics, there has been an increase in people overdosing on these prescription drugs since 2002.
  • Opioid Abuse Trends: Opioid abuse is on the rise in Washington. Trends from recent years show that there has been a 257% increase in people seeking treatment for opiate addiction at public agencies. Furthermore, prescription opioid use trends show that Oregon ranks second among all 50 states for the misuse of these pain medications.
  • Alcoholism Trends: Recent data indicates that 7% of people in Oregon abuse alcohol or are dependent upon it. In Washington, the rate of alcohol abuse/dependence is similar, at 7.6%, which is an increase of about 1% since 2009-2010 and approximately 1% above the national average.
  • Marijuana Use Trends: The statistics show that marijuana use is common among young adults in both Washington and Oregon, with 23.44% of Washington’s young adults and 25.81% of Oregon’s young adults using the drug within the last month. Previous-month use drops among those aged 25 and above, with a rate of 8.11% in Washington and 10.25% in Oregon.
  • Fentanyl Abuse Statistics: Problems stemming from fentanyl abuse have increased in both Washington and Oregon. Trends show that between 2015 and 2017, fatal fentanyl overdoses rose from 34 to 85 in Oregon, and from 2013 to 2017, they more than doubled, from 59 to 143, in Washington.

If you or a loved one is living with an addiction and seeking Oregon or Washington state drug rehab, The Recovery Village Ridgefield offers a detox center as well as a residential program that houses inpatient, outpatient, and partial hospitalization programs. Call us today to begin your journey toward recovery.


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