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Study Probes Many Uses for Stimulants
Photo of Methamphetamine Pills

WASHINGTON (AP) -- About 1.2 million people age 12 and older used the brain-damaging drug methamphetamine or prescription stimulants for non-medical reasons in 2003, unchanged from the year before, the government's substance abuse prevention agency reported Friday.

Methamphetamines, prescription diet pills and the attention deficit disorder drugs Ritalin and Dexedrine are the most abused stimulants, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration said, based on data from the 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

More than 12 million people have used methamphetamine for non-medical reasons in their lifetimes, while 8.7 million people have used prescription diet pills in that manner. Some 4.2 million people and 2.6 million people have used Ritalin and Dexedrine, respectively, for non-medical reasons, the agency said.

The data also showed that 378,000 people were dependent on or abused stimulants, and most were in the 12-to-25 age group.

On the Net:

National Survey on Drug Use and Health stimulant report: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k5/stimulants/stimulants.pd