Today physicians are learning more about preventing substance abuse with ADHD medications, and this training is sorely needed. Guidelines have been issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics to ensure proper care for children who are given these medications in order to prevent substance abuse. Children who have ADHD have a higher risk for substance abuse according to a recent paper which was published in the Pediatrics Journal. The guidelines released on ADHD medications in children includes practical advice to physicians about the potential for abuse with ADHD medications and signs to watch for that would indicate substance abuse of any type. It is becoming more common for children and teens who are prescribed stimulants to have the opportunity to buy, sell, trade, and misuse these medicines in a number of ways.
Authors of the recent report on ADHD medications and substance abuse with these drugs stated “Prescribers are cautioned that many school-aged children with ADHD- up to 23% – are approached to sell, buy or trade their medication. Stimulant medications have the potential for misuse, diversion and addiction. Treatment of ADHD symptoms with stimulant medication may reduce the risk of developing substance use disorders. ” The report goes on to caution that every provider follow safe stimulant prescribing practices to ensure that the ADHD medications are used as intended and do not provide the opportunity for substance abuse. In addition a physician should confirm any ADHD diagnosis before prescribing ADHD medications which have a stimulant effect. There are many other disorders which can also cause symptoms of this condition.