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

Article Abstract

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

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