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J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1998 Jun;19(3):187-92.

Stimulant use and the potential for abuse in Wisconsin as reported by school administrators and longitudinally followed children.

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Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Marshfield Medical Research and Education Foundation, USA.


The purpose of this study was to describe stimulant use and abuse as reported by school administrators and children diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder or attention deficit disorder inattentive. Five years after being identified as Ritalin responders, 161 children were surveyed regarding stimulant use and abuse. School principals in central Wisconsin were also surveyed regarding stimulant use and policies. No child believed stimulants as prescribed could lead to abuse. Sixteen percent of the children had been approached to sell, give, or trade their medication. During school hours, 44% of children and 37% of schools reported stimulants were stored unlocked. Not all schools had written policies regarding prescription drugs, and 10% permitted students to carry their own medication. Monitoring prescription usage, periodic reassessment of efficacy, and continuing education of family and teaching staff should be part of the multimodal treatment for this disorder. School policies should be developmentally sensitive.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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