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Study: Prescription Stimulants Do Not Increase the Risk of Illicit Drug Use in Adolescents

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July 15, 2023Prescription stimulant medication use for the treatment of ADHD does not increase adolescents’ risk for illicit drug use as young adults; however, adolescents who divert and/or misuse stimulants are 2.5 times more likely to use cocaine or methamphetamine during young adulthood, according to a new study published in the journal JAMA Open Network.1The University of Michigan study of 5,034 U.S.

high school seniors found that adolescents with ADHD who used stimulant therapy were no more likely to use cocaine and methamphetamine at ages 19 to 24 than their neurotypical peers.

However, the study found that 20% to 34% of teens who misused prescription stimulants during high school later used cocaine or methamphetamine as young adults.

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