Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2008 Oct;162(10):916-21. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.162.10.916.

Effect of prior stimulant treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder on subsequent risk for cigarette smoking and alcohol and drug use disorders in adolescents.

Author information

  • 1Pediatric Psychopharmacology Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA. twilens@partners.org



To examine the effects of early stimulant treatment on subsequent risk for cigarette smoking and substance use disorders (SUDs) in adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).


Case-controlled, prospective, 5-year follow-up study.


Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.


Adolescents with and without ADHD from psychiatric and pediatric sources. Blinded interviewers determined all diagnoses using structured interviews. Intervention Naturalistic treatment exposure with psychostimulants for ADHD.


We modeled time to onset of SUDs and smoking as a function of stimulant treatment.


We ascertained 114 subjects with ADHD (mean age at follow-up, 16.2 years) having complete medication and SUD data; 94 of the subjects were treated with stimulants. There were no differences in SUD risk factors between naturalistically treated and untreated groups other than family history of ADHD. We found no increased risks for cigarette smoking or SUDs associated with stimulant therapy. We found significant protective effects of stimulant treatment on the development of any SUD (hazard ratio [HR], 0.27; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.13-0.60; chi(2)(113) = 10.57, P = .001) and cigarette smoking (HR, 0.28; 95% CI, 0.14-0.60; chi(2)(111) = 10.05, P = .001) that were maintained when controlling for conduct disorder. We found no effects of time to onset or duration of stimulant therapy on subsequent SUDs or cigarette smoking in subjects with ADHD.


Stimulant therapy does not increase but rather reduces the risk for cigarette smoking and SUDs in adolescents with ADHD.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (2)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk