The Effect of Stimulant Treatment for ADHD on Later Substance Abuse and the Potential for Medication Misuse, Abuse, and Diversion




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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is known to be a strong risk factor for substance use disorders (SUD) in adolescence and in adulthood. Research shows that stimulant treatment does not increase the risk of SUD in adolescents or adults with ADHD but rather that stimulant treatments may have a protective effect. However, 2 in 10 youths with ADHD misuse their medication. Recent evidence suggests that slow uptake of medication in the brain allows for effective treatment without patients experiencing the euphoric qualities of immediate-release agents that lead to abuse or diversion. As a result, extended-release products and different formulations, such as lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (LDX), are less likely to be misused and diverted and may have lower abuse potential.

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J Clin Psychiatry 2007;68(11):e28