Children with ADHD are more likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol

teenage_drug_use

A new Californian meta-analysis shows that childhood ADHD increases the risk of smoking in adolescence and alcohol use in young adulthood.

The review examined the association of childhood ADHD with substance use (nicotine, alcohol, marijuana) and abuse/dependence outcomes (nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine) by conducting a meta-analysis of longitudinal studies that prospectively followed children with and without ADHD into adolescence or adulthood.

The reviewers concluded:

These findings suggest that children with ADHD are significantly more likely to develop substance use disorders than children without ADHD and that this increased risk is robust to demographic and methodological differences that varied across the studies.

Lee SS, Humphreys KL, Flory K, Liu R, Glass K. Prospective association of childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and substance use and abuse/dependence: a meta-analytic review. Clin Psychol Rev. 2011 Apr;31(3):328-41. [PubMed abstract]

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Andre Tomlin

Andre Tomlin

André started the Mental Elf website in May 2011. He has worked as an Information Scientist in Mental Health since the late nineties; initially at Oxford University's Centre for Evidence-Based Mental Health and since 2002 as the Managing Director of Minervation Ltd. He loves blogging, social media and elves! He also has established interests in evidence-based healthcare, usability testing and web design.

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