Perth’s Dexamphetamine Hangover
Perth’s ADHD generation, those diagnosed and ‘medicated’ in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, are now young adults.
They were prescribed ADHD amphetamines (primarily dexamphetamine) at three to four times the rate of their eastern states contemporaries1 and old habits die hard.
Many of Perth’s twenty to early thirty-somethings have grown to love their ‘dexies’, particularly with a drink or fifteen, on their weekend benders. With dexies on board they drink longer and harder, with the loss of inhibition and impaired judgement from alcohol but without the drowsiness.
Some also use dexies as a substitute for sleep, to either get up for work after a hard night of partying, or to cram for exams or tight work deadlines.
Part of the problem is that whilst methamphetamine is illegal in Australia and therefore understood to be harmful, it’s difficult to get Perth’s ‘dexie generation’ to realise that dexamphetamine is not a benign substance.
It might help if we point out that methamphetamine (brand name Desoxyn) is a legally prescribed ADHD treatment in the US. Then again it might simply normalise the use of methamphetamine.
But as it stands many of Perth’s young adults love their dexamphetamine. Despite the fact that the ‘near amphetamine’2 methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta) is the most commonly prescribed ADHD stimulant in Australia, (73% of all scripts)3, the vast majority of both new (82.5%) and continuing (86.6%) WA adult patients prescribed ADHD stimulants take dexamphetamine.4
Many get dexamphetamine rather than Ritalin, because they ask for it and they ask for it because dexies are the recreational prescription stimulant drug of choice amongst Perth’s hard partying young adults.
Martin Whitely MLA