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Systematic review with meta-analysis
Stimulant medication for ADHD not associated with subsequent substance use disorders
  1. Paula D Riggs
  1. Department of Psychiatry, Division of Substance Dependence, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, Colorado, USA
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Paula D Riggs, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Substance Dependence, University of Colorado School of Medicine, 12469 East 17th Place, Building 400, Aurora, Denver, CO 80045, USA; paula.riggs{at}ucdenver.edu

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Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common psychiatric disorders of childhood, affecting 3–7% of school-age children.1 Stimulant medication is an effective treatment for childhood ADHD and is well established as a first-line treatment in most clinical settings. However, controversy remains about the potential for stimulant medications to increase susceptibility to later substance use disorders (SUD), possibly by sensitisation of dopamine receptors and altering dopamine neurotransmission associated with addiction.2 ,3 The only previous meta-analysis was published 10 years ago and concluded that children who were treated with stimulant medication for ADHD were significantly less likely to develop SUD.3 The meta-analysis by …

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