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Stimulants: Short-Term Fix? Or Lifelong Drug?
"Are stimulants generally taken for just a short period, or will I take this pill for the rest of my life?"
Stimulants do not “cure” AD/HD; they reduce symptoms temporarily.
You should take medication whenever impulsivity, hyperactivity, or inattention interferes with what you need to do at home, at work, or in social situations. If you take medication to cover your entire day, you will probably need to do so for the rest of your life. If you take medication only for the workday, you may be able to take it less frequently after you retire.
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.