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Former Drinking Problem
"I used to have a drinking problem but am sober now. I was recently diagnosed with ADHD. Does my past addiction make it risky for me to take the stimulant my doctor prescribed?"
Your past problems with alcohol should not prevent you from safely using a stimulant. Just make sure your doctor carefully explains your dosage schedule, so you can be sure to take the medication properly.
By the way, your ADHD may have contributed to your drinking problem. Rates of alcohol and drug addictions are higher among adults with untreated ADHD. The rates among ADDers who receive treatment are no higher than those in the non-ADHD population.
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.