ADHD in Kids Linked to Drug Use Later in Life
A study funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism indicated that kids with ADHD are up to three times more likely to abuse or develop a dependence for such substances as nicotine, cocaine and marijuana as adolescents and young adults.
A feature on USA Today shared details of a study conducted by psychologists at the University of California-Los Angeles and the University of South Carolina-Columbia. It consisted of an analysis of 27 long-term studies, which followed 4,100 ADHD patients, and 6,800 children who did not suffer from ADHD. The researchers determined that adolescents who had ADHD were more likely to experiment with nicotine, as well as illegal substances, at an earlier age.
Lead researcher Steve Lee, an assistant professor of clinical psychology at UCLA, shared that children who have ADHD are thrice as likely to become nicotine dependent; one and a half times more likely to use marijuana; and twice as likely to use cocaine, when compared against those who did not suffer from ADHD when they were younger.
An ADHD diagnosis, it was found, increased the possibility that a child has used nicotine or illegal substances, and of developing issues with substance abuse by the time they become adolescents or young adults.
Brooke Molina, an associate professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, said ADHD may not necessarily lead to substance abuse: “This risk is roughly the same as the risk of alcoholism for a child of an alcoholic.”
Lee commented that the use of drugs and other substances may temporarily relieve distress, brought about by anxiety, social dysfunction, stress, and conflict due to ADHD. The study was published online in the journal Clinical Psychology Review.ADHD, ADHD drug abuse, ADHD drug addiction, ADHD kids