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J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2005 Oct;15(5):799-809.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, medication treatment, and substance use patterns among adolescents and young adults.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, USA. upadhyah@musc.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between current active attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms, medication treatment, and substance use patterns among college students.

METHOD:

Three hundred and thirty-four students at a local college were surveyed for current ADHD symptoms and psychopharmacological treatment. The survey was conducted in conjunction with an annual national survey that probes students about their substance use patterns and attitudes.

RESULTS:

Participants with ADHD as ascertained by medication treatment of ADHD had greater past-year tobacco and marijuana use. Among those with ADHD, participants with active ADHD symptoms were more likely to have past-year tobacco and other drug (besides tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana) use as compared to those without active ADHD symptoms. In addition, participants with active ADHD symptoms were more likely to have past-month "other" drug use as compared to those without active ADHD symptoms. Among those prescribed medications for ADHD, 25% reported ever using their medication to "get high" and almost 29% reported ever giving or selling their medication to someone else.

CONCLUSIONS:

Results of our preliminary study indicated that ADHD symptom control may be important to protect against increased risk of substance use (particularly tobacco and drugs other than alcohol and marijuana) among college-age students with ADHD. Further studies of misuse/diversion of prescription stimulant medication among college students are needed.

PMID:
16262596
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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