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New Study Indicates Kids with ADHD at a Higher Risk for Developing Substance Abuse Problems as They get Older


Kids with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are two to three times more likely than children without (ADHD) to develop a serious substance abuse problem in the teen years and adulthood, according to a study by UCLA psychologists and colleagues at the University of South Carolina.

The Study

Lee and his colleagues analyzed twenty-seven long-term studies that followed approximately four thousand one-hundred children with ADHD and six thousand eight-hundred children without ADHD into their teen years and young adulthood some of the kids were followed for a period as long as ten years.

The Study Results

Lee and his team of researchers combined all the published studies that met a specific rigorous criteria and analyzed them together. “They found that children with ADHD were at greater risk for serious problems such as addiction, abuse and trying to quit but being unable to, Lee said.”


Parents should monitor their children, especially if they feel the child may have ADHD or be at a high risk for it. Early intervention with a child psychiatrist or psychologist is crucial. Lee also stated that a mental health professional not a parent or teacher as many over active children as mislabeled as having ADHD when they do not must diagnose a child.