skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 228770 Find in a Library
Title: Does Childhood Use of Stimulant Medication as a Treatment for ADHD Affect the Likelihood of Future Drug Abuse and Dependence?: A Literature Review
Journal: Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse  Volume:18  Issue:4  Dated:2009  Pages:343-358
Author(s): Shawn M. Golden
Date Published: October 2009
Page Count: 16
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the effects of central nervous system (CNS) stimulant medication in subsequent substance abuse and dependence.
Abstract: Results of the meta-analysis suggest that the literature appears to contain conflicting data and divergent opinions regarding the role of stimulant medication in later adolescent and adult substance abuse. Four studies indicated that stimulant medication increased the likelihood of substance use; one indicated no risk; and four suggested decreased risk. Authors have suggested that children prescribed CNS stimulant medication were at greater risk for drug abuse and dependence. Others indicated that children taking stimulant medication were no more or less likely to abuse drugs than the control groups. Finally, another group of studies suggested that taking stimulant medication to treat symptoms of ADHD actually had a protective effect, reducing the propensity toward drug abuse and dependence. Since a minimum of 4 to 5 percent of children in the United States will be diagnosed with ADHD, it is important for parents to be informed when making decisions about the use of stimulant medication to treat symptoms. Considering the inconsistencies in the literature, it is still difficult to determine the true effects of stimulant medication on drug abuse and dependence in adulthood. References
Main Term(s): Drug abuse; Prescription drugs
Index Term(s): Adolescent chemical dependency; Attention deficit disorder (ADD); Diversion/aftercare outcome prediction; Drug treatment; Treatment effectiveness
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.