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What is the link between stimulants for ADHD and substance abuse problems?

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Many parents are concerned that giving their children stimulants to treat ADHD might lead the children to start experimenting with other types of drugs. Several studies have set out to investigate the possible link between prescribed ADHD stimulant medication and substance abuse problems, and there doesn't appear to be a strong connection.

From: ADHD and Substance Abuse WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: Molina, B. Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, April 2007. Marshal, M. Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, 2007. Goldman, L. Journal of the American Medical Association, April 8, 1998. Biederman, J. American Journal of Psychiatry, published online, March 2008. Biederman, J. Pediatrics, August 1999. Volkow, N. Arch Gen Psychiatry, June 1995. Volkow, N. American Journal of Psychiatry, November 2003. Johann, M. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, October 2003. Greydanus, D. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder across the lifespan: the child, adolescent, and adult. Disease-a-Month, February 2007. Levin, F. Alcohol & Drug Abuse: practical guidelines for the treatment of substance abusers with adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Psychiatric Services, August 1999. Mannuzza, S. American Journal of Psychiatry, April 1, 2008, published online. 










Smith, B. National Institutes of Health, 2002.

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on May 20, 2018

SOURCES: Molina, B. Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, April 2007. Marshal, M. Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, 2007. Goldman, L. Journal of the American Medical Association, April 8, 1998. Biederman, J. American Journal of Psychiatry, published online, March 2008. Biederman, J. Pediatrics, August 1999. Volkow, N. Arch Gen Psychiatry, June 1995. Volkow, N. American Journal of Psychiatry, November 2003. Johann, M. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, October 2003. Greydanus, D. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder across the lifespan: the child, adolescent, and adult. Disease-a-Month, February 2007. Levin, F. Alcohol & Drug Abuse: practical guidelines for the treatment of substance abusers with adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Psychiatric Services, August 1999. Mannuzza, S. American Journal of Psychiatry, April 1, 2008, published online. 










Smith, B. National Institutes of Health, 2002.

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on May 20, 2018

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What do long-term studies suggest about substance abuse in boys with ADHD?

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