Boys who receive Ritalin as treatment for their Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are 84 per cent less likely to develop a substance use disorder than unmedicated boys with ADHD, according to the US National Institutes of Health.
A study of over 200 boys aged at least 15 compared three groups: those with ADHD who had been treated with Ritalin or other stimulants, those with ADHD who hadn't been treated with stimulants and those without ADHD. They were analysed for their persistent use of mood or behaivour altering drugs, including alcohol, cocaine and stimulants.
Findings show that three quarters of the unmedicated group had at least one substance use disorder, compared to one quarter of those on stimulants. Of those without ADHD, 18 per cent had problems with substance use. Previous studies have shown that nearly twice as many adults with ADHD had at least one drug related disorder as those without the condition.
* Fact sheets and further information on research of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, a department of the NIH, can be found on the NIDA home page at http:www.nida.nih.gov