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Pediatrics. 1999 Aug;104(2):e20.

Pharmacotherapy of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder reduces risk for substance use disorder.

Author information

  • 1Pediatric Psychopharmacology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA. biederman@helix.mgh.harvard.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the risk for substance use disorders (SUD) associated with previous exposure to psychotropic medication in a longitudinal study of boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

METHODS:

The cumulative incidence of SUD throughout adolescence was compared in 56 medicated subjects with ADHD, 19 nonmedicated subjects with ADHD, and 137 non-ADHD control subjects.

RESULTS:

Unmedicated subjects with ADHD were at a significantly increased risk for any SUD at follow-up compared with non-ADHD control subjects (adjusted OR: 6.3 [1.8-21.6]). Subjects with ADHD medicated at baseline were at a significantly reduced risk for a SUD at follow-up relative to untreated subjects with ADHD (adjusted OR: 0.15 [0.04-0.6]). For each SUD subtype studied, the direction of the effect of exposure to pharmacotherapy was similar to that seen for the any SUD category.

CONCLUSIONS:

Consistent with findings in untreated ADHD in adults, untreated ADHD was a significant risk factor for SUD in adolescence. In contrast, pharmacotherapy was associated with an 85% reduction in risk for SUD in ADHD youth.

PMID:
10429138
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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