ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
The symptoms of ADHD include inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity. These are traits that most children display at some point or another. But with ADHD, which stands for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or what was referred to as ADD — attention deficit disorder — the symptoms are inappropriate for the child’s age.
ADHD is common in children and teens. But adults also can have ADHD. With ADHD in adults, there may be some variation in symptoms. For instance, an adult may experience restlessness instead of hyperactivity. In addition, adults with ADHD consistently have problems with interpersonal relationships and employment.
ADHD and Addiction
The increased risk of substance abuse in untreated ADHD subjects has profound implications for parents, teens, and society. Stimulants are the most studied class of medicines in child psychiatry.
Although all medicines have side effects and should be used judiciously, more than 1000 studies have demonstrated stimulants to be safe and effective in the vast majority of properly diagnosed patients receiving them.
Perhaps more than any other medicines, stimulants seem to suffer from unfounded “bad press” — most likely related to the public’s blurring of the distinctions between them and drugs of abuse.