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March 2002
RITALIN FOR ADHD KIDS REDUCES RISKS OF LATER DRUG ABUSE
By Alan M. Solomon, Ph.D.

One study found that supervised use of Ritalin for children with ADHD reduces the risk of illegal drugs being abused later in life. This finding contradicts recent animal studies. The author, Timothy Willins, associate professor at Harvard Medical School where the research was done, admits to not knowing why this reduced risk occurs. Presented at a Honolulu meeting in October, 2001, Professor Willins can be reached at (617) 724-5600.

This clinician (Dr. Solomon) speculates, from years of treating ADHD kids, that carefully supervised use of medications to benefit these patients helps prevent them from self-medicating later in life. If they are successfully helped at a younger age, and develop greater competence in school and job efforts, they are less likely to feel the pain of failure and unmet aspirations. Thus, they are less likely to turn to illegal drugs to ease their pain and frustrations.


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