ADHD May Be Risk Factor for Substance Abuse

From's Moms blog:

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have about a 50 percent greater chance than their peers of developing problems with drugs and alcohol, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital found.

The researchers evaluated 257 adolescents, ages 6 to 17, who had ADHD and 225 who did not and then checked in with them again about 10 years later. The group with ADHD was about 2.7 times more likely to develop drug abuse problems, primarily with marijuana. Among the more surprising findings was that there were no differences in risk between boys and girls and that a person's cognitive abilities and school achievement also did not affect their likelihood of developing substance abuse problems, lead author and child psychiatrist Timothy E. Wilens said. The authors said further identification of risk factors for substance abuse will help physicians better treat people with ADHD.


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