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ADHD Treatment Not Linked to Substance Abuse

Two studies that recently appeared in the American Journal of Psychiatry found almost no link between ADHD medication and substance abuse. The results help quell fears that kids who start taking ADHD medication are more likely to struggle with drug or alcohol use later in life, but also pointed out another unexpected issue:
"Subjects who didn't start stimulant medication until they were between the ages of 8 and 12 had greater substance abuse that was mediated by an increase in antisocial personality disorder in adulthood."
The study seems to indicate that kids who received ADHD treatment later in childhood were more like to develop an antisocial personality disorder, which then sometimes increased the risk of substance abuse. The upshot of both studies, however, is that neither found a direct link between ADHD medication and drug or alcohol use. Source: Psych Central

Labels: treatment, studies, substance_abuse

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Medications not Linked to Drug Abuse

On Tuesday, researchers from New York University released the results of a study which found no link between ADHD medication and future drug use. The study followed for 17 years 176 young men who had been diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed Ritalin when they were kids (ages 6 or 7).
"Those treated with medications had neither an increased nor decreased risk for subsequent drug or alcohol abuse compared with those not given drugs for their ADHD. 'Considering that ADHD affects 5 to 10 percent of children worldwide, and addictions are worldwide problems as well, I think the fact that these drugs do not have an adverse effect in increasing those risks is very important information for families and doctors...' [Dr. Joseph] Biederman said."
The study did find an increase in later drug use among children who were prescribed medication between the ages of 8 and 12. Researchers speculate, however, that delays in treating ADHD were greater factors for these kids than the medication itself. Source: RehabPub.com.

Learn more about the Impact of ADHD Treatment on Substance Use Disorders

Labels: medications, drugs, substance_abuse

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No Correlation Between ADHD Medication and Substance Abuse

A team of researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital recently concluded a study in which they investigated the relationship between ADHD medication and substance abuse. Their findings are encouraging for patients and parents alike.
"The study found no relationship between having ever received stimulant treatment and the risk of future alcohol or other substance abuse. The age at which stimulant treatment began and how long it continued also had no impact on substance abuse."
Results of the study also should relieve some of the pressure felt by physicians who worry about the long-term effects of ADHD stimulant medication. Read more at WAFB.com.

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Labels: medications, substance_abuse

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Does ADHD Medication Predispose Kids to Substance Abuse?

Many parents and doctors have long worried about the effects ADHD medication may have adolescents. The fear is that ADHD medication may cause teens to be predisposed to future drug abuse.
"The answer may depend on the age at which ADHD treatment is started and how long it lasts, say the authors of a new brain-imaging and behavioral study conducted in animals..."
One of the stimulants used in ADHD medication, methylphenidate, influences the brain's reward pathways and was the focus of the study. The study used rats, which were given doses of methylphenidate once a month for eight months. At the end of eight months, brain scans revealed an increase in the number of dopamine receptors, which are associated with pleasure and with drug abuse. Read more at EmaxHealth.com.

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Labels: medications, brain_chemistry, substance_abuse

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Children with ADHD at Higher Risk for Alcohol-Related Problems

A joint study between the Universities of Pittsburgh and California-Berkley has found that children with ADHD are more likely to develop problems with alcohol abuse and addiction. Reasons for the increased risk include a higher tendency towards impulsive behavior, school failure, and family history.
"One of the reasons that children with ADHD might be at risk for alcohol problems is that alcoholism and ADHD tend to run together in families,' said [Brooke] Molina. 'We found that parental alcoholism predicted heavy problem drinking among the teenagers, that the association was partly explained by higher rates of stress in these families, and these connections were stronger when the adolescent had ADHD in childhood."
The study found that 15-to17-year olds with ADHD reported being drunk 14 times in the previous year, while a group who was the same age but didn't have ADHD only reported being drunk 1.8 times in the previous year. Read more at About.com.

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Labels: substance_abuse, alcohol, alcoholism

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