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2 Bumps

Is there a REAL, VALID and DOCUMENTED connection?

Between teenagers who have been on several different medications for A.D.H.D. and drug use (mainly opiates such as Heroin and Meth)? I've heard there is but can't seem to find any research or proof. I'm asking as a concerned parent who has two teenagers both currently on Concerta. I am afraid that I am putting them at risk for drug use, abuse and possibly addiction. PLEASE NO BASHING. Thank you.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 2:04 AM on May. 24, 2013 in General Parenting

Answers (10)
  • Concerta is commonly abused and sold. I hope you have the meds locked up and watch them take it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:06 AM on May. 24, 2013

  • I feel so dumb for not knowing these things. I watch them take it every morning but have never locked it up. I never thought I had to.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 2:15 AM on May. 24, 2013

  • Concerta isn't the only drug that teens are known to sell. Ritalin too.

    Answer by gdiamante at 2:18 AM on May. 24, 2013

  • I took medicine for ADHD and Bipolar (still do) and do not have a drug problem. I smoked a little pot in college but who didn't?

    Answer by Razzle_Dazzle1 at 4:46 AM on May. 24, 2013

  • Are you asking if, by putting them on ADHD meds, you're putting them at risk for a drug addiction? If that's the question, everything I've read (both my boys have ADHD and both were once on meds) indicates that there's more risk of drug addiction if they go unmedicated and untreated - that when they are unmedicated and untreated, they will try to "self-treat", to make themselves feel better/less out of control by using drugs and/or alcohol.

    Of course, that's not to say that a kid that does use meds to treat their ADHD couldn't end up addicted to drugs, but based on the stuff I've read, that would be more of an individual thing, something specific to that child and not necessarily the result of the ADHD or the meds.

    If you're really concerned, depending on the severity of the ADHD, you could look into other ways of treating it: dietary changes, natural supplements like fish oil, behavioral therapy, etc.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 7:14 AM on May. 24, 2013

  • (I think meth is a stimulant, not an opiate.)

    You probably need to distinguish what your concerns are, in terms of "at risk for drug use, abuse & possibly addiction." Because drug use is already happening & dependence is probable/assumed with those substances (that's what "tolerance" is about, and adjusting therapeutic levels of the drug accordingly), but I imagine you are concerned about whether this drug use & addiction/dependence will make your kids more vulnerable to using OTHER drugs?

    I think it's a valid concern (not the least because of how ADD drugs work, or influence the brain) and it's true that the number of addicts who have ADD (diagnosed or undiagnosed) is high, but I think it's important to put attention on the FUNCTION self-medicating serves. I really like Gabor Mate's (Canadian physician) books on both drug addiction (In The Realm Of Hungry Ghosts) & ADD (Scattered) because he talks in just those terms.

    Answer by girlwithC at 7:31 AM on May. 24, 2013

  • Conceptually speaking, I would approach it from the standpoint that drug addiction/self-medicating isn't something that just "happens to" people, but something that manifests because of underlying causes. The behavior serves a function or fulfills a need. It implies the presence of psychological/emotional suffering, or a need to "escape."

    I think this (the presence of suffering) is the biggest factor involved. It also helps explain or contextualize existing correlations.

    I did a search on your basic Q and there is info out there. The sources vary, but even a book or site with an "agenda" (anti-medicating ADD) will include data/citations from legit scientific studies, so you can get the data there. Interpreting & making sense of that data is where the above considerations & perspective come in, and an understanding of what drives addictions can help.

    I will look at my search & see if I can add some links for you.

    Answer by girlwithC at 7:43 AM on May. 24, 2013

  • Dr. Julian Whittaker just recently published an article in which he states that there is a much greater risk for these children to use other drugs. He is someone who I have followed over the years and in whom I have a lot of confidence. You can probably Google his name and find his writings on this subject.

    Answer by NannyB. at 7:59 AM on May. 24, 2013

  • Here's a link to an article in the Scientific American about a couple of recent studies (that gives you a couple of starting points for what studies to consult in order to see the actual info examined & the findings in order to contextualize the data)

    This book has an obvious anti-drug agenda, but its citations include legit sources exploring the relationship between use of stimulants & later substance abuse.

    Answer by girlwithC at 10:17 AM on May. 24, 2013

  • Well maybe not if prescribed, but I know when I was a teen our friends kept the ADD meds in the bathroom and every time we went over there we would take 1-2 and I DID get addicted to meth later on.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:12 AM on May. 24, 2013

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