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The Key to Reducing Teens’ Risky Behavior? It Might Be Medication Coverage

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Puberty is not for the faint of heart, and raising teenagers with ADHD requires an extra sturdy constitution. Hallmark symptoms of ADHD such as impulsivity and emotional dysregulation, combined with common comorbidities like depression and anxiety, put teens with ADHD at a higher risk for the following:A slew of recent research, however, has revealed that treating diagnosed ADHD may dramatically reduce the incidence of these negative outcomes in teens.

In response to this data, many clinicians are urging teens and their parents to see the benefits of medication, not just for school, but for the life that presents itself through the day (and night).Adolescents navigate thrilling new freedoms and significant new responsibilities at a time when their prefrontal cortex, responsible for decision making and risk analysis, is still developing (a process not completed until the late 20s).

Brain-imaging studies show that this maturation process takes, on average, two years longer for teens with ADHD than it does for their neurotypical peers.“In the teenage years, the prefrontal cortex matures later than the limbic system, putting teens at risk of having emotional decision-making, addictive decision-making, and impulsive decision-making that isn’t modulated by the prefrontal cortex.

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