ADHD Treatment May Prevent Future Drug Use
Several studies show that treating children with attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with Ritalin and other stimulants
reduces their risk of misusing alcohol and other drugs later in life,
USA Today reported Aug. 11.
Psychiatrist Timothy Wilens of Massachusetts General Hospital in
Boston, Mass., reviewed several recent studies involving 1,195
children. The youngsters were tracked through their teens and into
The studies found that children with ADHD who were treated with
stimulants were no less likely than children without ADHD to have
alcohol or other drug problems later in life. However, children with
ADHD who were not treated with stimulants were twice as likely to
later become addicted to alcohol or other drugs.
Earlier animal research suggested that stimulants may "prime" the
brain for addiction.
Wilens released his findings during a recent meeting of the American