Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which causes difficulty in paying attention, hyperactivity, and unrestrained behavior, is a common disorder in children. Sometimes, adults also show the symptoms of ADHD. It can contribute to various problems in school or even at work.
Researches have also shown that children with ADHD possess higher risk of becoming alcoholic or drug abuser. However, a recent study found that intake of ADHD medications during childhood can decrease their chance of abusing addictive substances.
The study, published online in the journal Labour Economics in July 2016, also claimed that children medicated for their ADHD are less likely to indulge in risk-taking behavior resulting in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and unwanted pregnancy.
ADHD children with medication had less chance of substance abuse
As part of the study, titled “Sex, drugs, and ADHD: The effects of ADHD pharmacological treatment on teens’ risky behaviors,” the researchers examined the Medicaid claims for approximately 150,000 children detected with the disorder in South Carolina from 2003 to 2013. Analysis of the children indicated that ADHD children who got the necessary medication were 3.6 percent in a lesser likelihood of being afflicted with STDs during their adolescent phase, when compared to those who had received no pharmacological interventions for the same.
Detailed assessment also highlighted that children medicated for ADHD had 7.3 percent decreased possibility of suffering from substance use disorder and 2.3 percent diminished probability of getting injured later.
The findings shed light on how inducing ADHD children to take medications since childhood led to fewer cases of substance abuse disorder and decreased chances of portraying any kind of rash or risky behavior on entering the teenage phase.
The researchers said that more detailed study was required as not much was known about the nature of outcomes regarding health, behavior, educational, social, and mental health of the affected kids once they step into adolescence.
Stressing on the importance of the observations made, one of the co-authors of the research Anna Chorniy, a postdoctoral associate at the Princeton University, said, “Given that disadvantaged children and teens enrolled in Medicaid, a public insurance program, are disproportionately diagnosed with ADHD, these are important policy questions to address: why are there more children taking ADHD drugs today than a decade ago, what benefits do they deliver and at what cost.”
Many parents are still not sure about the long-term benefits of ADHD medication. A related study of 2014 found that ADHD treatment was linked to poor academic performance, deterioration in relationship with parents and an increased likelihood of depression.
Ensuring help to dear ones
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR), a sub agency of the U.S. Department of Education, recently classified ADHD as a specific disability under the federal civil rights law. OCR’s new guideline ensures protection of ADHD students against discrimination and necessitates schools to identify students afflicted with the disorder and to make necessary changes that would facilitate their learning process. Apart, caregivers and parents should also be careful about addressing ADHD in children. Professional care from a reputed treatment provider is always advisable in the first place.
If you or your loved one is suffering from mental disorders, including ADHD, consult the Sovereign Mental Health Services to know about our mental health treatment centers in the U.S. You may call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-954-0529 or chat online for information regarding mental health centers in your vicinity.