Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stimulant Treatment For ADHD Has No Effect On Risk Of Future Substance Abuse, Study Finds

Date:
March 2, 2008
Source:
Massachusetts General Hospital
Summary:
A new study finds that the use of stimulant drugs to treat children with ADHD has no effect on their future risk of substance abuse. The report assessed more than 100 young men 10 years after they had been diagnosed with ADHD and is the most methologically rigorous analysis of any potential relationship between stimulant treatment and drug abuse.

A new study finds that the use of stimulant drugs to treat children with ADHD has no effect on their future risk of substance abuse. The report, which will appear in the American Journal of Psychiatry and has been issued online, assessed more than 100 young men 10 years after they had been diagnosed with ADHD and is the most methologically rigorous analysis of any potential relationship between stimulant treatment and drug abuse.

"Because stimulants are controlled drugs, there has been a concern that using them to treat children would promote future drug-seeking behavior," says Joseph Biederman, MD, director of Pediatric Psychopharmacology and Adult ADHD at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the study's lead author. "But our study found no evidence that prior treatment with stimulants was associated with either increased or decreased risk for subsequent drug or alcohol abuse."

Earlier studies examining whether stimulant treatment could increase substance abuse risk have had conflicting results, but they had several limitations, the authors note. Some only looked at adolescents, although young adults are at the highest risk of substance abuse. Others did not control for conditions such as conduct disorder that are know to be associated with substance abuse or may have looked at the impact on use of only a particular substance. The current study, designed to address those shortcomings, analyzed patterns of substance use in a group of young men 10 years after their original diagnosis with ADHD.

Of the 112 study participants, who ranged in age from 16 to 27 at the time of their reassessment, 73 percent had been treated with stimulants at some time, and 22 percent were currently receiving stimulant treatment. Study participants were interviewed using standard tools for assessment of psychiatric disorders and additional questions about their use of alcohol, tobacco products and a wide variety of psychoactive drugs.

Study results, controlled for the presence of conduct diagnosis in the original diagnosis, showed no relationship between whether a participant ever received stimulant treatment and the risk of future tobacco use or alcohol or other substance abuse. The age at which stimulant treatment began and how long it continued also had no effect on substance use.

Earlier studies from the MGH Psychopharmacology group had suggested that stimulant treatment might actually reduce the risk of substance abuse in ADHD patients, who are at elevated risk to begin with, but that result did not hold up in the current analysis, which included some of the same participants. The researchers note that those shorter-term studies only followed participants into adolescence and that treatment may delay rather than totally prevent future substance use, something that should be investigated in the future.

"Our current results, combined with other investigations, should help reduce the concerns that clinicians and parents may have about the use of stimulants to treat ADHD in children," says Biederman, a professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. The current study was supported in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health, including the National Institute for Drug Abuse. Co-authors of the article are Michael Monuteaux, ScD, Thomas Spencer, MD, Timothy Wilens, MD, Heather MacPherson and Stephen Faraone, PhD, of the Research Program in Pediatric Psychopharmacology and Adult ADHD at MGH.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts General Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Massachusetts General Hospital. "Stimulant Treatment For ADHD Has No Effect On Risk Of Future Substance Abuse, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080301214758.htm>.
Massachusetts General Hospital. (2008, March 2). Stimulant Treatment For ADHD Has No Effect On Risk Of Future Substance Abuse, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080301214758.htm
Massachusetts General Hospital. "Stimulant Treatment For ADHD Has No Effect On Risk Of Future Substance Abuse, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080301214758.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fauci: Ebola Protocols to Focus on Training

Fauci: Ebola Protocols to Focus on Training

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says he expects revised CDC protocols on Ebola to focus on training, observation and ensuring health care workers are more protected. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins