Why Does My Son's Doctor Want to Take Him Off ADHD Medication?

Q:

"My 21-year-old son takes ADHD medication. At his last checkup, the doctor remarked, 'It’s time to start thinking about getting off of the meds.' Our family is very concerned about this because our son knows how much they help his symptoms. Why would he need to stop?"

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

I share your concern. Your son’s physician may not understand that ADHD is not solely a disorder of childhood and adolescence. For many, it continues throughout adult life. If your son’s activity level, inattention, and/or impulsivity continue to cause difficulty, he should remain on ADHD medication.

Now that your son’s an adult, he should make an appointment to speak with his physician. If the doctor won’t budge, your son should find a physician who treats adults with ADHD.

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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