AD/HD Drugs and Substance Abuse

Students who take stimulants as prescribed are no more at risk for substance abuse later on than kids who don't take them.

Wednesday June 1st - 3:00pm

Do kids who take stimulant medication for AD/HD face an increased risk of substance abuse later on? According to a recent study by researchers at the University of Michigan, the answer is no.

The study suggests that middle and high school students who take stimulants as prescribed by a physician are no more likely to abuse alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs than kids who don't take stimulants. In fact, only nine percent of kids who took prescribed stimulants used marijuana, as compared with 14 percent of children who didn't take stimulants. But when students take AD/HD stimulants illegally (without a prescription), such stimulants can serve as a "gateway" to harder drugs. Among kids who took stimulants illegally, 69 percent also used marijuana.

The study was published recently in the journal Substance Use and Misuse.

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