ADHD and Substance Abuse in Teenagers

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Even though ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a serious condition, a lot of teenagers use this as a reason to abuse the use of ADHD medication.

This is the issue that an osteopathic physician has opened in the AOA OMED (American Osteopathic Association Osteopathic Medical Conference and Exposition) 2011 conference held at the Orange County Convention Center. He is an esteemed psychiatrist and is the assistant director and assistant clinical professor in the Central Michigan University and the Synergy Medical Education Alliance.

You see, ADHD alone is a problem. Children and teenagers who suffer from this condition experience a different set of behaviors like inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. According to the esteemed psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist, Philip L. Creps, DO, impulsivity is more likely to occur in teenagers who experience the disorder which can lead to them abusing their own medicines.

Another study that addressed this issue is the correlation of the condition with alcoholism. Aside from taking too much of their medicines and being drowned in drugs, teenagers who experience ADHD tend to abuse other substances as well. In fact, there are some researchers who have conducted a study in this area and they found that teenagers with ADHD are culprits when it comes to over using substances like alcohol.

The problem arises when these things are ignored. Unlike children who are usually guided by their parents, teenagers are usually left alone to fend for themselves. Because of this, substance abuse among teenagers with ADHD is usually ignored and therefore not treated. This is not good because these teenagers are sacrificing their health and their life in this. It is with this reason why Dr. Creps encourages parents to be on the lookout for signs like sudden weight loss and dilated pupils.

Of course, the responsibility of finding out whether teenagers with ADHD are experiencing substance abuse extends to the doctors. They must also be active in asking their patients about their use of substances and they must prepare a program in case that they do. Dr. Creps, for example has a stimulant and non-stimulant course that he prescribes to his patients. In this course, the patient takes a series of non-stimulants like Straterra and stimulants like Ritalin. Non-stimulants function by significantly decreasing hyperactivity and impulsive behavior which are the usual culprits in substance abuse. Meanwhile, stimulants regulate the behavior and attention. But all of these will not be complete if the patient does not undergo substance abuse counseling and therapy.

So if you or you know a teenager who have ADHD, then you must carefully observe the behaviors that come with the illness. While there are medications that are readily available to treat it, it is still best to consult with a doctor so that you will know if other types of behaviors surface. Substance abuse is not to be taken lightly. It can literally worsen the condition of a teenager with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. If you feel like you know someone who is already into substance abuse, you should get them to a doctor so that they can get into a therapy immediately.

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