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Annual prevalence of Adderall use within grades 8, 10 and 12 in the U.S. 2009-2020

As of 2020, the percentage of 12th grade students that had tried Adderall within the past year was around 4.4 percent. The prevalence of 12th grade students using Adderall has generally decreased since 2012 when usage was more prevalent.


Adderall is a stimulant drug used in the treatment of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. ADHD is a common neurological disorder that usually affects children. It affects attention, movement and judgement. Adderall is shown to be addictive and is often referred to as a “study drug”. “Study drugs” are prescription ADHD medications used recreationally by high school and college students to enhance their focus to study more. In 2016, Adderall was one of the most abused prescription drugs in the U.S.

ADHD in the U.S.

In the U.S. ADHD diagnoses had been on the rise since 2003 but have recently started to decline. Nearly 1 in 10 children suffer from ADHD in the U.S. In 2017, the age group with the highest rate of ADHD diagnosis was those aged 12 to 17 years. In recent studies, it was shown that up to 3.1 percent of children in grades 8, 10 and 12 had used Adderall within the previous year.

Annual prevalence of use of Adderall for grades 8, 10 and 12 from 2009 to 2020

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Release date

December 2020


United States

Survey time period

2009 to 2020

Special properties

8th-, 10th-, and 12th-grade students

Supplementary notes

Monitoring the Future is an ongoing study of the behaviors, attitudes, and values of American secondary school students, college students, and young adults. Each year, a total of approximately 50,000 8th, 10th and 12th grade students are surveyed (12th graders since 1975, and 8th and 10th graders since 1991).

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Statistics on "Adolescent drug use in the U.S."

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