A new research found that a stimulant therapy that addresses attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorders (ADHD) may potentially decrease the risk of developing substance abuse issues in teen girls. This is according to a report by the Philadelphia Inquirer.
In a new study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, researchers from the Harvard Medical School found that subjects who went through stimulant therapy to treat ADHD manifested a decreased risk of substance abuse and cigarette smoking later in their lives.
The study was mainly aimed at examining the effects of undergoing early stimulant therapy on a patient’s predisposition for cigarette smoking and substance abuse.
The research followed 262 female with ages from six to 18. About half of the subjects were diagnosed with ADHD and the other half were not. Subjects who were given ADHD treatment exhibited a lower risk of developing addiction to smoking or other types of drugs. The data was gathered from evaluations of the girls’ behavior and drug use over five years.
A separate study that was conducted previously using male subjects yielded the same results. This led the authors to conclude that ADHD treatment can indeed curb the risk for substance abuse.
This current study was authored by Harvard Medical School doctors Timothy E. Wilens and Joseph Biederman. Just recently, US Senator Charles Grassley accused the two of failing to report over a million dollars in payments made by drug companies from 2000 to 2007. The doctors denied the allegations of wrongdoing. In this most recent study, they provided records of financial payments that were made by companies who manufactured ADHD drugs among others.
The study concluded that “stimulant therapy does not increase but rather reduces the risk for cigarette smoking and SUDs in adolescents with ADHD.”
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