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Does ADHD raise the risk of car accidents and problem drinking?

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Yes. Driving poses special risks for teens with ADHD. Teens with ADHD are two to four times more likely to have a car accident than teens without ADHD.

Teens with ADHD may be impulsive and immature in judgment. They may also enjoy risk-taking and thrill-seeking. All of these traits make accidents and serious injury more likely.

Still, studies show that teen drivers with ADHD who take their medication are less likely to have accidents.

Teens with ADHD are more likely to be heavy drinkers than teens without ADHD. They are also more likely to have problems from drinking.

In studies, teens with ADHD were twice as likely as other teens to have abused alcohol within the past 6 months and three times as likely to abuse drugs other than marijuana.

Getting the right treatment for ADHD may actually help to decrease the risk of later alcohol and drug abuse.

From: ADHD in Teens WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

CHADD: "Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder."

National Resource Center on ADHD: "Symptoms and Diagnostic Criteria."

CDC: "ADHD and Risk of Injury."

National Institutes of Health: "Severe Childhood ADHD May Predict Alcohol, Substance Use Problems in Teen Years."

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on June 20, 2019

SOURCES:

CHADD: "Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder."

National Resource Center on ADHD: "Symptoms and Diagnostic Criteria."

CDC: "ADHD and Risk of Injury."

National Institutes of Health: "Severe Childhood ADHD May Predict Alcohol, Substance Use Problems in Teen Years."

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on June 20, 2019

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What's the recommended treatment for teens with ADHD?

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