Daniel Carlat, MDDr. Carlat has disclosed that he has no significant relationships with or financial interests in any commercial companies pertaining to this educational activity.
Amphetamine was first synthesized in Germany in 1887. It became popular as a recreational drug in the US in the 1930s. While cocaine was declared illegal in 1914, amphetamines were widely available, and were often used by college students and truck drivers. In the 50s, methamphetamine was legally manufactured and added to the popularity of amphetamine derivatives. In the 1960s, new technology was developed to make injectable methamphetamine, which added significantly to the problems of drug abuse. Both methylphenidate and amphetamine were significantly restricted as Schedule II substances under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act. Strategies for ensuring that their use is medical vary from state to state--in Massachusetts, patients have to produce a hard copy of the prescription, and New York requires a triplicate prescription. About 90% of the Ritalin manufactured worldwide goes to the US, but it’s not clear how much of that is because the popularity of the ADHD diagnosis, and how much is because of diversion for recreational use.