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Posted on January 11, 2016 in Drug Addiction

Teens Abusing ADHD Medications

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a commonly diagnosed disorder in young people, especially young boys. Kids with ADHD have a real struggle to face. They have a hard time controlling their impulses. They don’t always behave in socially appropriate ways. They are hyper and can’t sit still or focus, listen to directions or concentrate. Medications for ADHD can be a big help. Although it may seem counterintuitive, these drugs are stimulants and they help a child focus and control impulses. The bad news is that according to statistics on substance abuse, teens are exploiting these drugs for just those reasons.

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Childhood Trauma Misdiagnosed as ADHD

Posted on July 1, 2015 in Teen Mental Health

Childhood Trauma Misdiagnosed as ADHD

Consider two classroom scenarios: In the first, a teacher struggles to calm and reengage her class after the repeated disruptions of a student who cannot remain seated. He behaves impulsively—flipping over his desk and knocking books and papers out of other students’ hands—despite consequences (being removed from the reward system, being sent to the principal’s office, calls home to Mom). He laughs loudly and sporadically, and can rarely sit still for long. Sometimes, he becomes aggressive. When the boy leaves for the day, both he and his teacher are exhausted. He rides the bus home until he is kicked off the bus for “bad behavior,” and enters a home with a work-at-home mom and younger sister. Mom struggles to help her son until his father gets home, at which point Dad takes over. Theirs is a home of both love and disciple, though both parents are equally confused about their son’s behavior. A doctor tells them their son has ADHD and recommends medication; the behavior therapies and stimulants he is prescribed seem to help.

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Substance Use Disorder Plus ADHD Increases Risky Behavior

Posted on October 9, 2014 in Addiction

Substance Use Disorder Plus ADHD Increases Risky Behavior

Substance use disorder and ADHD are two health conditions known for their ability to increase affected individuals’ involvement in unusually risky behavior. People diagnosed with ADHD have statistically increased chances of developing substance use disorder at some point in their lifetimes. In a study scheduled for publication in 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a team of Australian and Dutch researchers sought to determine if individuals with co-occurring cases of the two conditions have even higher chances of engaging in various kinds of risky behavior.

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Focused and Productive, But at What Price?

Posted on April 28, 2014 in Drug Addiction

Focused and Productive, But at What Price?

Also known as cognitive enhancers or neuroenhancing drugs, work-performance enhancing drugs are amphetamine cocktails such as Ritalin, Adderall and Modafinil. Originally intended for the management of conditions such as ADHD and narcolepsy, these concentrated stimulants help to improve focus and concentration while diminishing appetite and the need for sleep. Because they allow the user to concentrate for long periods of time, often to accomplish large work projects or studying for exams, they have become popular among students and professionals seeking to improve their competitive edge and diminish the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle (heavy drinking and/or drug use, unhealthy diet, insufficient sleep, lack of proper exercise) on academic and professional performance.

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Do ADHD Meds Lead to Addiction?

Posted on April 23, 2014 in Drug Addiction

Do ADHD Meds Lead to Addiction?

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is commonly treated with medications that contain amphetamine or some other powerful stimulant. For some time, doctors and researchers have been attempting to find out if children who take these medications have increased risks for abusing drugs or alcohol when they reach adulthood. According to the results of an unusually long-term study on the subject published in January 2014 in the journal Addictive Behaviors, treatment with stimulant ADHD medications in childhood is indeed linked with adult substance abuse and addiction issues.

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