|Adult ADHD Home||Succeed at Work||ADHD Self Test|
|Love & Friendships||Manage Time & Money||ADHD Adult Blogs|
|The Organized Life||Stress, Sleep, Health||Adult Support Groups|
|Apps & Gadgets||Inspirational Stories||Expert Answers|
|ADHD Parenting Home||Schedules & Time||Sample Routines|
|Discipline & Behavior||Teens & Young Adults||Parent Support Group|
|ADHD Parenting Skills||Nutrition & Diet||Parenting Blogs|
|Friendships & Social Skills||Sports & Hobbies||Summer & Camps|
|ADHD Treatment Home||ADHD Medications||Medication Reviews||Adderall|
|Treating Your Child||Nutrition & Diet||Fish Oil Printable||Daytrana|
|Expert Q&As||Non-Medical Treatment||Find Professionals||Strattera|
|Behavior Therapy||Brain Training||Quillivant XR||Vyvanse|
|ADHD/LD School Home||High School & College||Accommodations|
|IEPs & 504s||ADHD Study Skills||ADHD School Guide|
|Working with School||School Organization Help||College Survival Guide|
|Social Skills at School||For Teachers Only||Is it LD? A Self Test|
|ADHD Diagnosis Home||ADHD & Women||Is it ADHD? Self Tests|
|Getting a Diagnosis||Is it a Related Condition?||Medical Q&As|
|ADHD Symptoms||Post Diagnosis Next Steps||Myths & Realities|
|Is it Learning Disabilities?||ADHD Treatment||ADHD Support Groups|
|Tools and Checklists|
|ADHD Topics A-Z|
|Share Your Story|
|Give a Gift|
|Buy Back Issues|
"My 16-year-old has been taking a stimulant for five years, and I'm worried that he's become addicted. He says he needs two or three times his prescribed dose to stay awake and do his work, and he's begun taking it every two or three hours. What should I do?"
It does sound as if your son is addicted. This can happen to adults and teens who start taking more than the therapeutic dose. Their brains come to depend on larger and more frequent doses to stay alert. Without them, they "crash," becoming extremely sleepy or exhausted. The more your son takes, and the less time he leaves between doses, the faster he cycles from "super-alert" to crashing.
Speak to his doctor about your concerns. The solution may be as simple as finding a time when you can withhold the medication from your son, so that he can "sleep it off." Then see that he restarts at the correct dosage and monitor him closely. Note how many pills he takes each day and how fast he goes through each bottle of pills.
Larry Silver, M.D., is 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. He is also a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C.