Perth’s Dexamphetamine Hangover

By Martin Whitely

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 approximately three times the rate of their eastern states contemporaries[1] 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, (about three quarters of all scripts)[3] the vast majority of both new (66.9%) and continuing (81.4%) WA adult patients prescribed ADHD stimulants take dexamphetamine exclusively.[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.

Perth’s rise in adult ADHD prescribing rates defies the trend for kids. WA’s child ADHD per capita rate has plummeted (approximately 50%) since tighter prescribing accountability measures were introduced in late 2003.[5] However, the number of adults prescribed stimulants (primarily dexamphetamine) has risen 60% since 2004, so that in 2012 there were 10,117 WA adults on prescription stimulants.[6]

I am not suggesting that all of these adult patients are intentional ADHD drug abusers. Some of these are carryover ‘patients’ from Perth’s dexie generation; who still believe the ‘ADHD chemical imbalance’ lie they, and their parents, were told when they were children. Many of these former child patients have become physically and psychologically dependent as predicted on the manufacturer’s guidelines[7] that many of their parents never even had the opportunity to read.[8]

Some new adult patients genuinely believe they have a ‘biochemical brain imbalance’ and mistakenly believe the almost universal focus narrowing effect of low dose oral dexamphetamine is peculiar to those ‘suffering’ from ADHD. However, there is a new group of young adult dexie users, who have learned how to tick the right ADHD boxes and say the right things to the handful of enthusiastic Perth prescribers. (In 2012 five WA doctors prescribed to over 500 patients each with the heaviest prescriber prescribing to a staggering 1,533 patients.)[9] As a result they and their friends have got a convenient taxpayer subsidised supply of ‘uppers’ and can party all weekend and wake up bright as a button for work on Monday morning.

Faking ADHD is not a uniquely West Australian experience. US research revealed nearly a quarter of all adults seeking treatment for ADHD feigned symptoms to get a cheap supply of amphetamines.[10] And you would be mistaken if you thought that this didn’t happen in nice homes and good neighbourhoods. Whilst its child prescribing rates are now relatively low, the Oceanic Health District, which covers Perth’s affluent western suburbs, easily has the highest adult ADHD per capita prescribing rates in Australia’s highest (adult) prescribing state (WA).[11] This may in part be a legacy of the fact that Perth’s western suburbs and the less prosperous south east corridor around Armadale were the two child ADHD hotspots in the 1990’s.[12]

Unfortunately there is little direct data as to how prevalent the abuse of ADHD amphetamines is by WA adults. But we know from surveys that when they were high school students the vast majority (84%) of those who abused amphetamines, abused diverted prescription ADHD amphetamines.[13] Now it’s time to ask how much of Perth’s spate of alcohol related violence is also fuelled by amphetamines, and how much diverted dexamphetamine contributes to this problem.

Whilst at last we are slowly awakening to the ADHD fraud, we are still reluctant to blame the doctors who prescribe these poisons,[14] for a disorder that was voted into existence by a panel of self-appointed mostly drug company funded ‘experts’.[15] But ADHD ‘specialists’ are practising quackery not medicine, and that makes them quacks not doctors, and it is time we said so.

So before we middle aged West Australians bemoan the decadence and decay of youth, remember, it was our generation who put them on this pathway. Too many of our generation unquestioningly accepted the ADHD industry nonsense that, just like diabetes or cancer, ADHD is a disease requiring ‘medication’. Even now it is our generation’s leaders that finds the truth – i.e. ADHD is a dumbed down, unscientific, catch all diagnosis and amphetamines are bad for kids – too confronting to say out loud.

We can’t leave our head in the sand any longer. All the available evidence suggests too many of Perth’s twenty to early thirty-somethings have a large and growing dexamphetamine habit. They get it, they abuse it, they drink too much, they fight too much and tragically a few die too early.[16] And it is not their generation’s fault, it is my generations, because when they were kids, we were their dealers.

[1] Martin Whitely, Speed Up & Sit Still: The Controversies of ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment, UWA Publishing (2010): p.126.]

[2] Martin Whitely, Speed Up & Sit Still: The Controversies of ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment, UWA Publishing (2010): p.34] methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta) is the most commonly prescribed ADHD stimulant in Australia, (about three quarters of all scripts)[3. Statistics relate to 2010 calendar year and were obtained from the Medicare Australia website, Available at

[3] Statistics relate to 2010 calendar year and were obtained from the Medicare Australia website, Available at

[4] Department of Health, (2013), Western Australian Stimulant Regulatory Scheme 2012 Annual Report, Pharmaceutical Services Branch, Health Protection Group, Department of Health, Western Australia p 52+41.,d.dGI]

[5] See ‘Rise and fall of child ADHD in WA’,

[6] Department of Health, Western Australian Stimulant Regulatory Scheme 2012 Annual Report, Pharmaceutical Services Branch, Health Protection Group, Department of Health, Western Australia (2012):p57,d.dGI

[7] The warning issued by the manufacturer concerning amphetamines, such as Dexedrine, and their high potential for abuse can be found on the US Food & Drug Administration website

[8] It is a legal requirement that Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) sheets are available for all prescription (S4 and S8) and pharmacist-only (S3) medicines, however there is no requirement that they must be provided with each prescription

 Department of Health, Western Australian Stimulant regulatory Scheme: 2012 Annual Report, Pharmaceutical Services Branch, Environmental Health Directorate, Department of Health, Western Australia (210):p35,d.dGI

[10] Meredith Melnick, ‘Faking It: Why nearly 1 in 4 adults who seek treatment don’t have ADHD’, Time Healthland, 28 April. Available (accessed 24 May 2011)

[11] Department of Health, Western Australia Stimulant Regulatory Scheme 2012 Annual Report, Pharmaceutical Services Branch, Health Protection Group, Department of Health, Western Australia (2013): p25+40,d.dGI

[12] The Report of the Technical Working Party on Attention Deficit Disorder to the Cabinet Sub-Committee, Parliament House Western Australia, 1997, p. 6

[13] A 2005 survey of Western Australian secondary school students (the Australian School Students Alcohol and Drug Survey or ASSAD) found that 84 per cent of those who had abused amphetamines in the last year had abused prescription amphetamines. Drug and Alcohol Office WA, ASSAD Drug Report 2005, Mt Lawley, March 2007, pp. 30-32.

[14] A Stimulant Regulatory Scheme was established in August 2003, with the legislative framework for the Scheme contained in the Poisons Regulations 1965.  Under the Scheme, the Stimulant Prescribing Code sets out the criteria for the prescribing of stimulant medicines in WA.

[15] Martin Whitely, Speed Up & Sit Still: The Controversies of ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment, UWA Publishing (2010): p.7.]

[16] For further information see ‘Claire Murray (14 March 1985 – 1 April 2010) – A casualty of Perth’s Generation deX’, available at

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  1. Dr Joe’s avatar

    Martin ,you have identified the missing piece of the jigsaw. People wonder why violence has increased in Perth nightspot areas. Alcohol consumption is static. When people are drunk their capacity to fight is reduced even if their desire to is increased. Mix in amphetamines and people the have desire and the capability.


    1. Dr Hugh Nelson’s avatar

      People with a diagnosis of ADHD who miss out on effective treatment are MUCH more likely to end up in prison. That statistic is recognized world wide. If we had a society where the ADHD person could leap on a horse first thing in the morning band be paid well for keeping busy physically with challenging and worthwhile activities, there would be no need for stimulants. But your attitude condemns city kids with ADHDto a life of crime and ffailure.


    2. Toni’s avatar

      I’ve posted your most important and valuable information on my Facebook page. I am in the U.S. but I am sure this will ring true for some unfortunates here as well. Please keep up this outstanding work.


    3. Anthony’s avatar

      Martin, this is a very well-written piece. Many are sure to attack you simply because they will be unable to address your sound reasoning. What I find most encouraging (admidst the despair) is that people are starting to realise that the ADHD show does lack scientific backing.


    4. Pete82’s avatar

      Spot on Martin, but amphetamines combined with drinking and addiction to harder drugs are only some of the long term effects, in my opinion. Think of all the resources and wider social implications this will have on the general public. Not to mention immediate family members.


    5. Wade’s avatar

      Hello my names wade I’m 21 years old I think you make a strong point on the subject but for those genuines who suffer from ADHD like myself it angers me when others lie just to get an easy substituate for drugs its like someone saying they have cancer when they dont the prescribed dexamphetime is a usefull tool for everyday life it gives me balance to concentrate and focus on the important things at hand I’ve recently been prescribed concerta and hope the effects are better improved what I’m trying to say is for those like myself who need it the possitive outcomes are tremendously positive and uplifting its helped me deal with life thanks for your time


      1. Angela’s avatar

        i Agree with wade. I was diagnosed with ADD in my early 20’s i couldnt focus through school, couldnt keep a job, pay bills on time its depressing, frustrating and a terrible condition NOT disease as you stated. Dexamphetamine changed MY life im 38 and managing a busy beauty salon and studying part time and i continue to take my medication till this day.
        So too the doctor’s that prescribe these POISON’S as you also state i raise my glass to them for allowing me too live and function a normal, happy life.

        Please educate yourself on ADHD and ADD before throwing your opinions around.


      2. M’s avatar

        Hi. As a twenty-something year old currently prescribed for ADD, my experience with the medical world confirms your fears about rampant over-prescription by the aging “quacks”, who seem to be lacking the ability or inclination to properly help people who approach them with a genuine concern about their mental health.
        I know dexamphetamine is an ill-fitting bandaid measure for my complaints due to the number of side-effects I put up with, but I have actually found it fairly difficult to find good help – everyone just wants to give me dexies or antidepressants! I now find myself begrudgingly taking my prescribed medication only when necessary, around experimenting with nutrition/sleep/exercise combinations in my spare time…
        If you know of any practitioners who are actually interested in their field beyond playing “pin the medication on the symptom”, (or inversely, implying that I’m simply imagining things), I would definitely appreciate the tip-off.


        1. Angela’s avatar

          If you have ADD, medication is the only way to truly control and help your condition. its a chemical imbalance in the brain. the only thing you can try is drinking a few cans of pepsi, this has a simular stimulant.


        2. Brett’s avatar

          Concerta works good for me don’t no what your problem is


        3. Tim’s avatar

          I think you will find ADHD is not a lie.


        4. Jane’s avatar

          This may look like a scientific piece of writing but there is only ONE psychologically relevant article being referenced that is not the authors own work. This single article is not even a psychological study, nor is it relevant to Australia. Your numbers may be correct (pulled from government websites) but your inferencing is fallacious. To go as far as declaring ADHD a fallacy is misinformed and shows a complete lack of sensitivity for those that struggle with it. Perhaps next you will tell us all how hysteria is just a disturbance of the womb.

          To all those reading this, please think for yourselves. Every article you ever come across, just do a little analysis, the most basic of checks is reliable sources, any first year university student will know that.

          Just because an article is well written (I will give you that), does not mean that the overall message of the piece is true.


          1. Martin Whitely’s avatar

            Jane rather than take some mysterious detour regarding hysteria (about which I have no knowledge or interest) lets stick to ADHD.

            I agree that “all those reading this” piece or any piece on ADHD should “think for themselves” and add they should never lose sight of two indisputable facts:

            1- The diagnostic criteria of ADHD are behavourial and despite frequent promises of imminent diagnostic breakthroughs there are no objective biological diagnostic tests for ADHD. The 18 behaviours listed in the diagnostic criteria are normal childhood (and adult) behaviours including disliking homework, avoiding chores, being forgetful and easily distracted, fidgeting and interrupting.

            These are the sorts of things most kids particularly boys will do when taught by boring, incompetent teachers or poorly parented (politically incorrect to say but perfectly true). Some kids do have real issues but the dumbed down ADHD label combined with numbing medication masks these issue. At the extreme end I know of a number of cases of children who have been raped and traumatised by adults they should be able to trust and then violated again with amphetamines by useless dangerous quacks.

            2- Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall, dexamphetamine and all the ADHD stimulants are all either amphetamines or amphetamine like substances that are Schedule 8 drugs (schedule II in the US) because they are addictive with a high potential for abuse. (If you don’t believe me check the manufacturers own literature).

            A lot of adults who think they have ADHD like how low dose amphetamines make the feel. They do temporarily narrow focus and many gullible people mistakenly believe this is evidence their “biochemical brain imbalance” has been “balanced” i.e. their ADHD has been treated. The dependence can therefore become both psychological and physical.

            I think that if an adult wants to take amphetamines because they like how it changes them we should all at least be honest enough to admit that is what they are doing and stop pretending they have a disease that is a legitimate as diabetes.


            1. Bronwyn Milkins (PhD Candidate)’s avatar

              1. Strawman argument; the diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorders are also behavioural and there is no biological test for autism – are you saying that autism does not exist? Similarly, most if not all of the behaviours of anxiety-linked psychiatric disorders (e.g., obsessive compulsive disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, etc.) feature ‘normal’ behaviours (relative to their cohort); the difference between ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ being the nature, frequency, and impairment to daily functioning. For example, you could say that avoiding chores is a normal behaviour, sure. However, to continue to avoid chores despite serious consequences to relationships and functioning (e.g., not working on an important document even with the threat of being fired from ones’ job) rests high on the normal-abnormal continuum.

              I think you will find in the body of peer-reviewed psychological literature that ADHD is not a “dumbed down label” but a problem marked by dysregulated inhibitory control processes and persisted cognitive hyperarousal. Please provide evidence contrary to this body of literature and I’m sure your readers would be interested in reading.

              2. “Stimulant medications are classified as ‘drugs of addiction’ under NSW law and have the potential to be abused. When taken as prescribed – orally and in a therapeutic dose – stimulants do not induce euphoria and are unlikely to lead to abuse.” Second sentence is relevant to your argument, taken from NSW department of public health (


              1. martin’s avatar

                Point 1- I don’t pretend to have any expertise on autism however I do know extreme autistic behaviours are not part of the normal range of human behaviour, whereas the diagnostic criteria of ADHD (often playing too loudly, being disorganised, fidgeting etc) are all normal behaviours particularly for children. Having said that I am aware of concerns about the broadening of the diagnostic criteria for autism in order to get access to support services.

                With regards to your comments about avoiding chores. Until I was about 40 I expended considerable energy avoiding chores and it often lead to frequent arguments and on occasions damage to relationships. That didn’t make him me psychiatrically disorded just lazy, inconsiderate and unmotivated. We need to stop trying to medicalise every imperfect human behaviour.

                Point 2 – read ADHD amphetamine addiction and abuse at


              2. Dan (Pharmacology Undergrad)’s avatar

                “With regards to your comments about avoiding chores. One of my now adult children expends considerable energy avoiding chores (as did I until middle age) and it often leads to frequent arguments and on occasions damage to relationships. That does not make him or I psychiatrically disorded just lazy, inconsiderate and unmotivated. We need to stop trying to medicalise every imperfect human behaviour.”

                The presence of ‘conditions & disorders’ are exactly what makes us who we are. Its not to say that its imperfect, just different. Because some people (myself included) are unable to apply ourselves to work, study or chores without stimulants then such a disorder clearly exists. Whether you choose to acknowledge that or not is you choice, but its ignorant not to considering it may come at the cost of your childrens full potential. People are the way they are for a reason, and in true cases of ADHD it is definitely a neurochemical imbalance.


                1. martin’s avatar

                  Dan You can’t have it both ways. Either it is fine to be imperfect and un-medicated or it is not. Of course stimulants make just about everybody better able in the short term to focus on boring things that we really don’t want to do. That predictable stimulant response doesn’t make us diseased or disordered. And please provide your evidence of a biochemical imbalance claim. It is an unproven hypothesis continuously stated as fact. Saying something is true when there is no proof constitutes either an act of faith or an act of fraud.


                2. Angela’s avatar

                  you are an ignorant! i am living proof ADD exists!! i have suffered from this CONDITION not DISEASE from early child hood. Dexamphetamime changed my life! are you going to stand in front of me and tell me otherwise??? you have no idea what your talking about…how old are you Martin? i bet your information comes from a text book, you don’t have any real life experience. Where and whom are you getting this information from??? other NON – ADHD & ADD sufferer’s who are wrong and so quick to judge? so, tell us this Martain whats the difference between ADHD and ADD??? if you know everything.


                3. Shut Up and Vote Out’s avatar

                  You THINK you know how it makes us feel. You ASSUME that it makes us feel good. You THINK this based on your own drug use Martin. You admitted to using drugs in your past.

                  What you do not understand is that dex does not make you feel good. It does not make you feel euphoric. It is not fun and I HATE it when people say things like “you get to take things that we don’t” like it’s something fun. It’s not! Debilitating anxiety so that you can do the simple thing of keeping a job is NOT FUN Martin.

                  I don’t drink or smoke and I have never taken illegal drugs.You can’t say the same eh Martin.

                  But you keep vilifying us for being different and picking on defenceless people like the bully you are. This page has very few comments which speaks volumes about your credibility in this area. You are no expert on ADHD. You know NOTHING about it and it shows and the fact is Martin that amongst the educated members of our community across the country you are seen more as the village idiot rather than a credible expert.

                  Anyway I think you have had enough attention from me. I shall now go find something with value to read.


                4. iiann’s avatar

                  i self diagnosed at age 24 at one point id stoped taking dex during IVF and didnt get back to them for 12 years 45+ year old i dont drink or smoke at all ,you lot are are wasting your time trying to convince each other that your view is the right one .but here i go any, circular logic +narrominded+ self rightness+ego+ignorance. ECT ECT. for me the dex works ,as for people quoting statistics from here or there , its the general incompetence of the medical system that is at fault not the medications. .why pick on the ADD drugs ,children are exposed to the addictions of alcohol and cigarettes daily, but because many people have been brain washed over the decades to think these things as socially acceptable, and even a right to fight for , they are going under the radar , coupled with the fact that those two things most of the time kill much more slowly and make a few bucks for the governments there not looked at to hard. do we stop treating people for cancer because some of the ..people dye from the treatment . shall we ban guns because people kill people with them. criminals still get weapons and drugs regardless of there legal state . >>>>>>> indisputable facts. this statment on this topic only heigh -lights the incompetence of the medical system. a great many things touted as fact have over time found to be wrong at some point in the future. ((( A lot of adults who think they have ADHD like how low dose amphetamines make the feel. They do temporarily narrow focus and many gullible people mistakenly believe this is evidence their “biochemical brain imbalance” has been “balanced” i.e. their ADHD has been treated. The dependence can therefore become both psychological and physical. ))) and the same is true for alcahol and cigerets …


                5. martin’s avatar

                  Iiann asks “why pick on the ADD drugs ,children are exposed to the addictions of alcohol and cigarettes daily?” I answer yes some children may see alcohol and cigarette addition on a daily basis but unlike amphetamines they are never prescribed them.


                6. Luke’s avatar

                  Your claim that many young adults in Perth ask for dex over Ritalin is based in what evidence? Have you bothered to consider the cost differential? Probably not. It would matter little to you I think. You’re clearly of the view the ADHD is a fantasy disorder.

                  People who are struggling to get recognition and treatment should not be disheartened by reading this rubbish article.


                  1. martin’s avatar

                    Luke, The evidence is in the article if you bothered to read it. Over 80% of WA adults on ADHD stimulants are prescribed dexamphetamine whereas the national figure is over 70% take methylphenidate.


                    1. Possum’s avatar

                      I can tell you why that is- the dex is much more gentle and subtle in its effect than the ritalin and if you are not taking them yourself and were not able to compare them then you would not know that. As an adult it’s preferable. As a child you get no particular say nor opportunity to find that out. You just take what you are given.


                      1. joel’s avatar

                        I agree with you possum

                        I first took ritalin when i was first diagnosed as an adult but showed clear signs as a teenager to be adhd.
                        lacking grades at school, couldnt hold down a job and expelled from 2 schools.
                        my doc prescribed ritalin and they made me feel for some unknown reason angry and frustrated.
                        i told my doc and he prescribed dexies. Im on a high count but they have a much balancing effect than ritalin for myself.
                        i seem to be less frustrated and more switched on with my medication. My doc listens to my concerns as well not just there to suply my medication.
                        Ive always found things difficult to achieve and put in order. Im now getting things 34yrs old and have been diagnosed for around 1yr and a half.
                        Live in perth.
                        No matter what medication or drug…. there will always be abusers of these. Lets hope people be more drug aware through knowledge leading to understanding.
                        But in saying pin the tail on the older ADHD generation is actually not the right approach…but instead maybe bars should introduce a bar card which links to other bars and reduce the amount of alcohole sold to each individual.
                        Alcohole taken to such extremes can be controlled but they dont control it bcause money is to be made.
                        im not a clubber myself or a fighter. I prefer a quiet night with mates at home, a few beers and laughs.
                        also have 2 kids which also puts me in a cirtain lifestyle catorgory.


                      2. Possum’s avatar

                        Oops impaired focus strikes again 🙂
                        Scrap that reply.


                      3. Angela’s avatar

                        i am a sufferer and im very angry at this article!, its humiliating and disrespectful, i would love for marty to take a walk in my shoe for a week then he can tell me its a fantasy!..pfft!


                      4. John Millman’s avatar

                        Martin, 1) dexamphetamine is a small fraction of the cost of the drugs still under patent for the treatment of ADHD (and other psycho-stimulants).
                        2) Dexamphetamine is prescribed for many conditions other than ADHD. Some have a psychiatric component, many are “physical”.
                        3) Your apparent abhorrence of drug abuse is a common and respected position however, we do not try and demonize young adults who have had to use pain killers or other drugs of addiction whilst growing up. Is it because we cant “see” the pain inflicted by ADHD and ADD etc that make sufferers easy targets?
                        4) I am a retired scientist and have no association with ADHD. Most young people today appear to me to be more socially and environmentally responsible than our generations. I take exception to you trying to maliciously burden generations with outrageous labels (“Perth’s ADHD generation”) and to try and imply that a significant number of young people (“many”) illegally use dexamphetamine.
                        5) This is a form of bullying that appeals to rednecks and to those who will always only “harvest low hanging fruit and leave the rest to rot”.


                        1. martin’s avatar

                          John With regards to 1 as stated in the original article the proportion of WA adults using dexamphetamine is wat way higher than in the rest of Australia where the relative costs are the same. With regard to 2 Wa stimulants report all prescription of stimulants and well over 90% is prescribed for ADHD. With respect to 3 and 4 if you read the piece you would see I don’t blame this generation I blame our generation for normalising amphetamine use by telling so many of them it was good for them. As for 5 that is just drivel.


                        2. Angela’s avatar

                          finally someone with some sense!


                        3. nick’s avatar

                          John, Perth is a small place and Martin is just writing about what he see’s and/or experiences. Ive been prescribed dexies for nearly 10 years, within those 10 years ive had about 10 different jobs, had memberships at 3 different sports clubs and have studied at 2 different places. Not just young people, the majority of liberal minded people under 60 love dexies, and why wouldnt they? its a far more social drug than alcohol, its easy to measure the dose and people can guarantee their mood for a particular time. eg. the weekend. General practitioner’s, Psychologists, engineers, high school principles, local celebrities and many highly regarded people like to make the most of their weekends. Though i agree with you, Young people today are more socially and environmentally responsible. They know that a legal system that allows smoking tobacco, is clearly flawed.


                        4. Lee’s avatar


                          Do you think the disparity between Perth and other states in adult use of such medication has anything to do with ease and availability to obtain illegal stimulants through normal “illegal” channels ?

                          At least with dexies you know what you get and what quality to expect unlike the other channels.

                          What are Perths percentages per capita like in comparison with states like Tasmania and NT?

                          In my experience I know people who use dexies as amphetamine replacement but I know no one who actually uses it as prescribed, in no way am I suggesting no one does or no one suffers from illnesses that this medication will help it is only my experience and am more interested in the drug use side of it than the medical debate.

                          Many of these conversations link amphetamine use with the rise in violence as Dr. Joe does above, what is not talked about either on purpose or through lack of knowledge when mentioning this link is the difference in street stimulants NOW in comparison with ten years ago. Why does nobody consider the timeline of what drugs have been “IN” through the years or consider drug control on one substance leads to rise in other substances and a different set of problems that impact on society.

                          In my opinion violence has increased in the past ten years, what has also changed from my experience is Ice, Crystal, Methamphetamine whatever you want to call it is the most easily accessible drug in Perth now and is a totally different substance than the “Speed” of ten years ago, what has also changed is the price has doubled.

                          I personally think these couple of things have more to do with the increase in violence and violent crimes than anything else but I have no figures or stats, all I know is that some people want to take drugs, always have, always will, but others wont, some people will always abuse drugs legal or illegal, always have, always will, but others wont.

                          You may say that this comment has nothing to do with your article but I just wanted to make a few points I think should be considered because if there is a high percentage of people abusing this medication and whether through Law or some other means it is stopped as a source this is not fixing a problem but will just achieve shifting the problem to another substance and set of issues, but thats just my opinion.


                          1. martin’s avatar

                            Lee, I suspect you may know more about many of the issues you raise than I do.
                            I agree with your statement that ‘At least with dexies you know what you get and what quality to expect unlike the other channels’. However, the fact that abusing ‘dexies’ is safer than abusing meth etc. is hardly a ringing endorsement. If taxpayers are going to sponsor dexies because they cause less harm than meth then lets at least be honest about it and stop pretending they are prescribed to treat a psychiatric disorder.
                            Rates of Adult prescribing in WA in 2011 were about 3.3 times the national rate. For kids about 11% below.
                            As for the connection with violence I think you are probably correct but I don’t know of any formal evidence.


                            1. LeeH’s avatar

                              Hi Martin,

                              I only know what I have seen/experienced and what seems normal to me, others experiences may differ.

                              As you can see my angle is not to endorse the abuse of “Dexies” as I totally agree any substance, illegal or legal, abused causes many issues for the individual and society as a whole and agree that substances aren’t a harmless bit of fun on the weekend as I have seen the results from prolonged use and abuse legal and illegal, but my angle is from as you mention “lets at least be honest about it” which is something a lot seem to struggle with, we seem unable to hold unbiased conversations or debates about the matter and even less able or willing to explore/discuss rationally any thought of different approaches to drug control because “lets be honest about it” some people will always want to take drugs for various reasons and how we are dealing with it now, regardless of any spin given to us by government or authorities, it is not working and never will.
                              I pay tax and do find it mind boggling reading reports like yours or listening to the discussion on 6Pr about this topic that while clearly being abused it is subsidized, I know nothing of whether people legitimately benefiting (I assume some are?) from “Dexies” would get the same benefits from “Ritalin” or whether “Ritalin” has the same affects on a person I am only assuming that it does not, and if the subsidy was changed due to the abuse will that surely make it hard for people who may legitimately benefit?
                              I know my replies are not as easy to follow or expressed in a way that is as well written as your article or other articles I read but I hope my points aren’t entirely lost as mainly I guess I just wanted to get across my opinion that the link with Violence and amphetamine use, is to me, a lot more to do with the rise in Ice use since early-mid 2000’s than the actual use of amphetamine and while being a part of the problem, I certainly don’t think it is the sole reason though and many other areas in society should be held accountable for contributing to the problem and my opinion that if this issue you have highlighted about “Dexie abuse” here is solved by law changes or tightening of criteria for diagnosis or other means and the statistical data shows a significant drop in the rates of prescribed use or continued use it could be claimed as the problem being solved but to me, yes, “Dexie abuse” will be solved but in reality the problem will have just been shifted around causing a different set of issues and knowing what some of the alternatives are and their impact I don’t think it would be a shift to a better situation, like I say Martin this is just my opinion and thank you for responding.


                            2. martin’s avatar

                              Hi Lee

                              I substantially agree with you. There maybe some displacement from dexie abuse to methamphetamine however, I think that most dexie abusers would not be comfortable abusing non-prescription drugs. I also think there are probably some people who make the transition from dexies to methamphetamine. Unfortunately I am not aware of any robust research on the topic.


                            3. Kevin’s avatar

                              Every reader needs to be aware that the church of Scientology are actively
                              Discrediting the whole field of psychology and drugs that help people.
                              As a add sufferer I get pissed off when this crap is peddled buy a radio station
                              Or publishers without realising they are letting flawed ideology get free air time.
                              Printed or generally circulated.
                              With two dead sisters from schizophrenia, an autistic brother, and personal health victories with the the god send , dexamphetamine . All I am saying is that ideology maybe trying to hide behind this publications fasard of logic.


                            4. martin’s avatar

                              Kevin, I can’t comment on your personal circumstances but I can assure you that I am not or never have been motivated by religious beliefs. I respect other people religious beliefs and try to treat all people the same regardless of their beliefs. However I have never been religious and never will be. The views on my site are mine alone. You are more than welcome to disagree but please don’t attribute inaccurate motives to me.


                              1. Shel’s avatar

                                …and yet you didn’t address his point…

                                …lack of primaries and careful stats don’t lend credibility to an opinion.


                              2. GA’s avatar

                                Firstly to all of you who want to refer to this medication as ‘dexies’ should cease to do this. You’re making it sound like it’s something fun and it is not. I’ve been on them for 13 years for ADHD. I have a son who is autistic/adhd and a daughter with adhd.

                                Let me tell you that from the point of view of someone with genuine ADHD that being on these is not fun.

                                It’s called a first line of defence medication for a reason. BUT and I mean BUT in capital letters IF YOU DO NOT HAVE APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR MANAGEMENT AND TRAINING FOR YOUR CHILD DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME. This medication makes it possible for the child to receive the messages that you give them so that they can learn. We had the discipline in place FIRST before medication. No-one really wants to medicate their child. This is a line of last resort for most parents.

                                As an adult I initially got medicated for behaviour because that was a real issue for me. One of the ‘side effects’ was that I was then capable of understanding what I read for the first time in my life. I could also write clearly too. For once people could understand what I wrote because previously as long as all the words were in the sentence it made sense to me regardless of whether they were in the correct order (which they were not).

                                I would not have been able to make it through the last 13 years without being medicated. In that time I have raised an autistic child to independence. That’s the biggest achievement ever. I work. My kids work and we contribute our fair share. We are productive members of society. It has served its purpose for me.

                                However there are some negative effect such as debilitating anxiety and other things so after 13 years and having raised my kids I’m now in a position to try life without them.

                                The thing about dex is if you have genuine ADHD it’s so easy to go off them and so damn hard to go back on them. To others it is a highly addictive substance. For us who are truely ADHD it’s not. It’s quite simple – do not take the next dose. So far so good. I have my manager keeping an eye out for me at work and if there are any problems we’ll deal with them as they arise. Having a supportive workplace is of the utmost importance. I am very lucky in that I am accepted where I am but for most of my working life this has not been the case and I have been the victim of workplace bullying but those pathetic individuals who should have been the ones to be medicated and disciplined rather than me.

                                As it stands I am really in two minds about this. I know my brain does not produce a neurotransmitter that most people have. BUT does that make ME the defective one? I’ve very creative and the world would not be a better place if I was not here. Why should I have to be drugged to be socially acceptable to everyone else?

                                If you really want to stop the abuse of stimulants by people who don’t need them the answer is simple. Find another way to help us that does not involve stimulants. Support and find research into amino acid trials to try and find another way to create the missing neurotransmitter.


                                Stop trying to make us conform and fit into your stuffed up world. Ignorance is bliss. Do you really thing we want to be lifted out of our wonderful bliss into your depressing reality? Your world sucks and you make our lives suck by expecting us to confirm to it.

                                The problem is not people with ADHD. The problem is the 90% of you in the neuro typical world that must medicate, obliterate and assimilate anyone who is different. How about making some workplace bullying laws with substance. How about providing support when it’s needed.

                                BUT – until you’re capable of fixing the world please DO NOT vilify people with ADHD for needing medication. It’s your fault that we need it.

                                I revert back to my original opinion. There is nothing wrong with me and something wrong with everyone else. You can’t see what it is front of you. You want to see this as a set of signs and symptoms rather than for the pervasive condition that it is. Your blindness is what causes the abuse of stimulant through mis-diagnosis. All you have to do is see the person in front of you to know if they are ADHD or not. And for those who think that this is not related to autism then just give up and go back to burying your heads in the sand coz clearly you’re not intelligent or insightful enough to be capable of seeing what is in front of you.

                                This is a lot more inflammatory than I would normally write but I am unmedicated at the moment so you get that. Also this is on a topic that I know well from firsthand experience as a patient and a parent and I get sick of people spreading misinformed lies and vilifying us even further.

                                If you want to comment on ADHD and medication get yourself educated and do something constructive rather than vilifying us because this is getting really old.

                                Oh and dex over ritalin – it’s cheaper and last I heard ritalin was only covered on the PBS if you were diagnosed as a child. Which if that is true just totally sucks.

                                Oh and dex does not produce euphoria in someone with ADHD. Stimulants act as sedative which is why it calms hyperactivity. Perhaps some reading on the mechanisms of action is required.


                                1. Angela’s avatar

                                  I Couldnt agree more!!!…110% spot on!!…


                                2. martin’s avatar

                                  There is a lot to respond to.

                                  1- Your comment about stimulants making the child available for learning is not supported by long term evidence. The Raine study indicated amongst children diagnosed with ADHD in the long term those medicated failed school at 10.5 times the rate of those unmedicated. (see One year on from the Raine Study ADHD Medication Review – Will the analysis of this unique long term data source continue and if so can we trust those doing the analysis? at )

                                  2- How do you know your brain doesn’t produce a neurotransmitter?

                                  3- I agree with you that an ADHD diagnosis doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you. In fact that is my main point.

                                  4- At low doses Dex doesn’t produce euphoria in anybody.


                                  1. GA’s avatar

                                    1. Rubbish! And I don’t see that references to your own site as a credible response. And this is ONE study. Hardly scientific proof. I have all the proof I need. Myself, and my 2 kids. All of us are contributing members of society. I’m trialling not taking any medication now that I have had 13 years of being able to learn what I need to so I can hopefully cope in the workplace without it. It’s not just academic learning, it’s also social skills. It’s stuff like learning to shut up and do as your told in front of customers and argue with the boss later rather than in front of the customers. It’s learning not to be a sitting duck and so naive as to get abused and taken advantage of because of our innocent nature. This ultimately is why you get away with targeting us.

                                    2. How do you know it doesn’t? I know what I am and I know myself extremely well. I know what I can and can’t do and why.

                                    3. The problem is that we can’t live in this society without being outcasts in our current form. That’s why we need to be medicated – so we can cope in your world.

                                    4. At low doses people who are neurologically typical get a pleasurable response from dex. For us with genuine ADHD there is no pleasure. It’s more like debilitating anxiety. On it I can understand what I read. Without it I struggle to understand and process the information. Communication is harder and so is remaining quiet. I am only in this position of trialling life without them because I have a supportive workplace. Without it I would be a sitting duck for bullies.

                                    I know you just don’t get it but I don’t want to explain this to you. The reason why there are so many fakers is because they stalk our online support groups and copy the things that we say about ourselves so they can the go and act it out. That’s why the quality of doctors is of the utmost importance. A good doctor can pick an ADHD person a mile off. There is a certain way about us. But if they’re only looking at the ‘signs and symptoms’ and not the actual person in front of them they’re going to get it wrong. Unfortunately one of your campaigns many years ago saw a great doctor lost to the field. It’s such a shame because I used to send all the fakers to him because I knew he would never diagnose them – and he never did. They would come away empty handed.

                                    It’s a shame that after all this time you still don’t get it. That’s why you are not and will never be a credible authority on ADHD. You are to ADHD what Shane Warne and Derryn Hinch are to cycling.


                                  2. nick’s avatar

                                    wrong. if you exercise, eat well and take dex. you get high. you can change your Brain chemistry by changing behaviours and not taking dex; diet, social activity, diet, exercise, diet. Maybe us people who have been diagnosed with adhd are just more biologically sensitive to the environment.


                                  3. Paul Harrison’s avatar

                                    I’m a 62 year old male, educated and intelligent. I know when someone is pissing down my neck and trying to tell me it’s raining. I have had a successful, highly technical career, requiring me to be responsible for the lives of hundreds of people. I was first diagnosed ADHD at around 58. The dexamphetamine for me has been a miracle drug. It seems I have been battling ADHD all my life, but I had learned to cope with it until retirement. It took some 5 years before my Psychiatrist realised what was going on. That day changed my life forever and completely. I now function in the real world. If I miss my dose one of the eight times a day, I can feel the affect inside two hours. So please if you have an issue with Dex and want to bang your drum and wave your flag about its evils, publish your literature in peer reviewed journals, and see then where you get. Thanks for listening.


                                  4. joel’s avatar

                                    I call them dexies bcause i can never remember how to spell the long term name.
                                    i was going to give it a whirl but i felt id be embarassed if i got it wrong.
                                    But i see your point..but i choose not to take it on board. I dont really talk about my ADHD or let alone tell people what im taking.
                                    Only one person in my family knows about my medication as i find it to be my business as an adult who i tell or not.
                                    For me dexies have made my life more fun and enjoyable. My life was very disorganized and very depressing while not on my dexies.
                                    ive been on anti depressents and they made my life hell and suicidal.
                                    My ADHD (dexies) have given me self esteem and motivation to move ahead and to get focussed.


                                  5. Angela’s avatar

                                    i am not buying this book its rubbish


                                  6. GA’s avatar

                                    Hmmm thinking of writing a book, ‘Shut up and Vote Out’.

                                    I wonder if Martin is also part of tue anti-cycling lobby who says we are not allowed to ride on tue road and completely ignore the laws that say we can.

                                    Same sort if ignorant and uneducated nonsense here.

                                    Ahh yes Shut Up and Vote Out. has a nice ring to it!


                                  7. Lisa-Marie Enaaja’s avatar

                                    Never in my life have I read such ignorance as this article. This is the worst piece of writing I have ever seen in my life.

                                    Martin you will read extensively about your own article upon my blog at the website

                                    I believe this knowledge may wake you up.

                                    Martin there is no evidence for schizophrenia being a chemical imbalance in the brain, does that mean that everyone is faking having schizophrenia too ?
                                    Extremely uneducated, and if there is truly anyone who agrees with this article you may require a better understanding and a lot of research.

                                    Unfortunately many uneducated people are allowed to type anything they want onto the internet , and this is a problem.


                                  8. Lisa-Marie Enaaja’s avatar

                                    I sincerely hope that those in support of you having written reviews beneath your ignorant article are written by your own hand. Because if they are not, there are far too many ignorant and stupid people in the world!
                                    I don’t believe the latter.


                                  9. nick’s avatar

                                    i was diagnosed with adhd at 6 years of age. did not take medication. At about age 20 i was a bit sad, so i saw a psychologist who advised me to see a psychiatrist, who prescribed me dexamphetamines.
                                    If there is some sort of chemical imbalance in people whove been told they have adhd, why isnt a brainscan or some sort of measure taken to read the extent of the “chemical imbalance”?

                                    Adhd, depression, anxiety and many more of these ridiculous LABELS are, I believe, a result of Governments/societies decision to reward job creation, which has snowballed. The most successful business’s create the problem and the solution, just like pharmaceuticals. Not many jobs are created by simplifying things.


                                    1. Sarah’s avatar

                                      Hi, Interesting angle. The abuse you describe is shocking. As many people have commented, it does have a genuine use and there are many people taking this drug responsibility. As my partner started dexa a week ago as an adult, I was keen to find out more about the drug and how it is helped others (internet not great for this to to find an article with references I may read was informative). My partner has been given a very small dose for depression as it apparently works on dopamine. He is missing cdyp26, meaning he do not process antidepressants so after trying a total of over 28 antidepressants and every other drug, it came down to this. He needed approval from the commonwealth government, providing evidence and medical records over a long period and was represented by a specialist. It went to review, background checks were made, and approval took over two weeks. The criteria was so strict that I was bemused when I read many forums about using the drug recreationally; whole sites about how to extend its half life and how to limit and treat the come down. Reading your article, therefore, informed where the supply stems. From further research it seems ADHD do not need to got through the same hoops as suffers of depression. Regardless, I am thankful for the drug. It has saved my partner’s life is no understatement. So again, it does have it’s place but it seems tighter controls are needed.


                                    2. Joost’s avatar

                                      ADHD a lie… Well, that means my QB test results show a very interesting placebo effect then. Wether it’s a chemical imbalance or not, and wether dex should be regarded as a medicine or a tool, I don’t care. But ADHD is for one thing, not a lie.

                                      QB-test is impossible to fake for the hyperactivity part, by the way. Apparantly you can’t control micromovements, movements not noticeable without tools. I made 8500 during the first 20 minutes QB test, whereas normal would be around 2000. Guess what the second test (on dex) turned out…

                                      Overall I think the article is good and show interesting insights. I just want to object to the argument that ADHD is a lie, as a whole. It’s not.


                                      (Interesting thing: this test will make people who fake hyperactivity look very suspicious, since lots of movement should usually be backed by lots of micromovement.)


                                    3. S’s avatar

                                      I want to tell you all my story.

                                      Dexamphetamine has saved my life.

                                      I was first put on dexamphetamine at age 15 after I sexually harrasssed a female student, burnt down my primary school and done numerous other impulsive repulsive actions that my racing mind could not control. Dangerous impulsive acts would REDUCE my anxiety along with sex and cigaretees aswell. I had been self medicating.

                                      With dexamphetamine I felt calm, productive and in control. My anxiety diminished and my quality of life increased.

                                      Then Mr Martin here opened his mouth and released his uneducated, anecdotal opinions apon the public. My mother ceased treatment (because of martin) I had zero withdrawals and my life gently unraveled into its normal chaotic state.

                                      I then tried prozac (age 19) , valium (many years) , Lexapro (age 22) all to ease my racing mind and depression that came from constantly not getting anywhere in life.

                                      By age 24 I was prepared to drive my car into a wall and smash my brains into oblivion. I could not handle my mind and how far it would keep me away from my life goals.

                                      I was knocked down in life but I had just enough in me to keep breathing after a little research i found out that adhd is not just the stereotypical aspects that martin boasts about but rather a bundle of different things.

                                      I went to the physc who treated me at age 16, i explained my situation (I had major anxiety at the time and mild depression) and took one more shot at life…

                                      99% of my anxiety diminished totaly in a few days my panic attacks ceased, my needs to try and sleep in the middle of the day to slow my mind stopped. My need for doing highly risky dangerous stupid novel things stopped.

                                      And now with tears in my eyes I can say I have become the person i always was inside a gentle caring loving man who wanted nothing more in life than just peace and happiness.

                                      I love my life, I love dexamphetamine.

                                      Parents if your child is diagnosed with adhd get a second opinion and proceed with medication. It like giving glasses to a child with poor eyesight they don’t know what they are missing out on until they try it on.

                                      Mr Martin please shut up you uneducated googling know nothing know it all fool.


                                    4. M’s avatar

                                      It might help if you understood the difference between ‘potential’, which is something that might happen, and reality. There is a significant difference between isolated experiences, and conclusions drawn from real, reliable research. As a teacher I seen the real effect of medication on numerous children and teenagers, and it can be unbelievably liberating and confidence building for them, so it does not surprise me it can prevent them from abuse later on. As part of their condition kids (and adults) with ADHD suffer from short-term memory and information retrieval problems, slow processing, auditory dysfunction and mood swings. Children with hyperactivity are unable to sit still or keep their mouth shut, and as a result often struggle, socially. They are annoying and are often painfully aware of this, but unlike children without ADHD, they have no control over these behaviours. Medication can be like opening a window. The doses are so incredibly low (the street drug equivalent can be up to 50 tablets in strength) they are not addictive; the greatest problem users tend to have is that they forget to take them. Yes, it is prescribed wrongly at times, I am sure, or for the wrong reasons, or as an easy fix. I am sure it gets abused by some. So do anti-depressants. But get one thing clear: medication prescribed for genuine ADHD does NOT induce euphoria; it makes sufferers feel normal. It helps them sleep properly. It helps them read an article without losing track after the first line. It helps them not to blurt out hurtful things so they lose their friends. It helps them to learn, building confidence and opening future prospects. Which would arguably make them less,rather than more likely to use drugs.


                                    5. Davin’s avatar

                                      Great conversation.
                                      I agree wholly that we are who we are, but that said, how does one have equal opportunity to learn and earn in this crazy world if the information can’t be absorbed?
                                      I was mildly dyslexic and unable to focus, the dreamy type of ADD.
                                      15 minutes of reading was it, if I was enjoying it.
                                      At 42 I have just succeeded in finishing a diploma, and now believe that I will be able to earn a degree. Something that I had never thought possible.
                                      I possess reasonable intelligence, but lacked the ability to focus to obtain & retain new knowledge.
                                      20 years of trying my best to meditate, + lots of healthful life changes including eating a predominantly whole food diet etc. These things all helped a little, but I could still only process and absorb information at a certain rate.
                                      Now I can sit through a movie and follow it, read a book, or even just be present in conversation in a way that most people take for granted.
                                      They have helped me to fit into a ridiculous world.
                                      A round peg now in a square hole.
                                      If I’m barefooted, growing organic food and spend my time chilled then all is good. There’s nothing wrong with me at all.
                                      But, turn on a television or a radio and put a phone to my ear, then your message had better be six words total, or I’m somewhere else.
                                      I believe that it is society that has lost it’s way.
                                      I don’t see too many happy whole human beings during on a weekday.
                                      For me to get that piece of dirt to sustain myself on, I must be able to process and learn in a way (& at a pace) that is normally very difficult for me, so that I can then compete for employment. Then maintaining that employment can also be extremely difficult.
                                      Yes, there is labor. I did that.
                                      Leaving school at age 15, I had myself a spinal fusion by age 25 thanks to breaking my body through very heavy work.
                                      As soon as I healed I was back into crappy heavy work. What else was there?
                                      What does one do when unable to focus on learning new skills?
                                      Maybe I should’ve just been happy with my broken back and settled for living in a caravan somewhere to raise my child?
                                      Now, I need to learn in order to earn.
                                      Being able to watch a movie, follow directions or absorb a telephone call are added bonuses.


                                    6. Ritalin party @ my place’s avatar

                                      Marty, mate… I can’t tell whether you are a professional troll, or a professional muppet?!

                                      Either way, you are doing very well! Do you run seminars? I need to brush-up on my “being an arrogant, insensitive, poorly-informed, self-referencing, victim-blaming and poorly regarded jerk”.

                                      Please let me know on the email provided as I will have to organise to take my work holidays around that date.

                                      Keep up the good work!



                                    7. Brett’s avatar

                                      Martin you need your skull caved in



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