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 Tomlin is an Information Scientist with 20 years experience working in evidence-based healthcare. He's worked in the NHS, for Oxford University and since 2002 as Managing Director of Minervation Ltd, a consultancy company who do clever digital stuff for charities, universities and the public sector. Most recently André has been the driving force behind the Mental Elf and the National Elf Service; an innovative digital platform that helps professionals keep up to date with simple, clear and engaging summaries of evidence-based research. André is a Trustee at the Centre for Mental Health and an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London Division of Psychiatry. He lives in Bristol with his wife, dog and three little elflings.

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