If your child has ADHD, is he more likely to use drugs as a teen or young adult? Maybe—and maybe not! Show Notes

Thursday, July 10, 2014 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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If your kid has ADHD, is he more likely to use drugs as a teen or young adult? Yes—and no.

CBS News is reporting on a new study conducted by Boston Children’s Hospital that found that children suffering with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are more than twice as likely to try and abuse drugs

However, if kids are treated properly—including with prescription medications, they may actually be LESS likely to use drugs when they get older.

Dr. Sharon Levy at Boston’s Children’s says "one of the main points [of the research] is that treating ADHD both with behavioral techniques and medications seems to lower the risk of substance abuse,"

Dr. Levy did caution that stimulant medications such as Adderall and Ritalin can sometimes be misused. The researchers found that almost 1 out of 4 school-aged children are approached to sell, buy or trade their ADHD medications

Dr. Michael Duchowny at Miami Children's Hospital recommends that children with ADHD should be counseled about the risk of substance abuse.

Although the association between ADHD and the risk of substance abuse is known, the reasons for the increased risk aren't,

It’s possible that the same biology that causes ADHD also puts some children at a higher risk for substance abuse, he added. Other social factors may also contribute to increased risk.

For example, kids with ADHD are more likely to struggle in school and turn to drugs or alcohol to escape anxiety about their difficulties.

For more information on ADHD, its diagnosis, and proper treatment, go to chadd.org.

I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.
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