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New research shows children with ADHD more likely to abuse drugs

By Jennifer Pilgrim,

A new analysis shows that children and adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are more than twice as likely to abuse drugs in their lifetime compared to those who do not have any signs of the disorder.

"Children with ADHD need to be counseled about the risk of substance abuse," says Dr. Michael Duchowny, a pediatric neurologist at Miami Children's Hospital in a statement to CBS News. "Parents need to be aware that the medications prescribed for ADHD have the potential for abuse. They also have to be aware of the symptoms of substance abuse, and distinguish those from ADHD."

In the United States, eight percent of all children have been diagnosed with ADHD, reports Philly.com. Research shows that children with ADHD experience higher levels of anxiety and struggle in school, which can lead them to turn to drugs to escape their difficulties.

"Parents need to be aware that the medications prescribed for ADHD have the potential for abuse. They also have to be aware of the symptoms of substance abuse, and distinguish those from ADHD," Duchowny said.

The analysis was published online June 30 and in the July print issue of the journal Pediatrics. Please visit the National Institute of Mental Health website for more information on ADHD.

 
 

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