Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are more likely than their peers to develop problems with substance abuse, the American Academy of Pediatrics says in a new clinical report that outlines strategies for reducing the risk.
Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely than their peers to develop problems with substance abuse, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says in a new clinical report that outlines strategies for reducing the risk.
According to research cited by the AAP, children with ADHD are more than 2.5 times likelier to develop a substance abuse disorder than children without ADHD. They’re also twice as likely to have a lifetime history of nicotine use and almost 3 times more likely to report nicotine dependence as adolescents and adults; nearly 2 times more likely to meet diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence; about 1.5 times more likely to have marijuana use disorder; and twice as likely to develop cocaine abuse or dependence.
Treating ADHD with stimulants, especially at a young age, may lower the risk of substance abuse, but the drugs can present their own set of problems, including misuse (use other than for the prescribed purpose), diversion (transfer to someone for whom the drug wasn’t prescribed), and addiction. Short-acting preparations have greater potential for misuse and abuse than sustained-release and longer-acting formulations.
To reduce the risk of misuse, diversion, and addiction, the AAP recommends the following prescribing practices for stimulants:
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