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ADHD in the News – The Impact of Meds on Substance Abuse

July 12, 2013

For years the ADHD community has believed, based on research, that taking ADHD medication as part of a treatment plan helped protect kids from substance abuse later in life.  New research has unfortunately shown this not to be the case.

A new study conducted at UCLA used previous results from 15 studies that involved more than 2,000 children with ADHD.  These children were monitored from childhood into young adulthood and the data shows that taking medication does not decrease the likelihood that someone with ADHD will have a substance abuse problem.

In fact, taking medication doesn’t impact the likelihood of future substance abuse at all.  Meaning, the risk is the same whether medication is taken or not.

Despite disproving a long held belief, this is still good news because it also shows that people with ADHD who DO take medication are not more likely to have substance abuse problems than those who don’t.  For parents who are concerned about giving their child stimulant medication, this may alleviate some of their concern.

Turning Leaf Life Coaching offers coaching for ADHD and Life Transitions worldwide.  For more information, go to

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