Fear of Addiction


"I used to be addicted to opiates and painkillers, and my doctor has prescribed a stimulant medication for ADHD. Should I be worried?"

Dr. Larry Silver specializes in treating children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD).

Be candid with the physician about your past drug dependency. Taken correctly, ADHD medications are not physiologically addicting. They do not alter your feelings or perceptions, so you need not be worried about feeling "high." Just be sure to stick to the dose and time prescribed. If you find that you frequently need higher doses, alert your physician. You should be watchful, but I do not expect that you will have a problem.

Larry Silver, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and director of training in child and adolescent psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is a former acting director and deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as the author of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on AD/HD and The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities.
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