ADHD drugs don't increase drug-abuse risk, study finds

UCLA researchers review more than two dozen studies from last 33 years

NEW YORK — Drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder don't appear to increase children's risk of abusing drugs and alcohol later in life, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of California Los Angeles and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, analyzed 15 studies of 2,565 patients conducted between January 1980 and February 2012 to determine whether children who take stimulant drugs to treat ADHD were at higher risk of dependence on alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, nicotine and other drugs.

The researchers found that the use of stimulants to treat ADHD had no effect on the risk of drug and alcohol abuse.

"Results suggested comparable outcomes between children with and without medication treatment history for any substance use and abuse or dependence outcome across all substance types," the researchers wrote.


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