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ADHD treatment associated with lower smoking rates
Date:5/11/2014

DURHAM, N.C. -- Treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with stimulant medication may reduce smoking risk, especially when medication is taken consistently, according to an analysis led by researchers at Duke Medicine.

The findings appear online May 12, 2014, in the journal Pediatrics.

"Given that individuals with ADHD are more likely to smoke, our study supports the use of stimulant treatment to reduce the likelihood of smoking in youth with ADHD," said senior author Scott Kollins, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of the Duke ADHD Program. "The risk is further lowered when adherence to medication treatment is consistent, presumably since this increases the chances that symptoms are managed effectively."

ADHD is a common childhood disorder that can continue through adolescence and adulthood, and is characterized by hyperactivity, difficulty paying attention and impulsivity. It is most commonly treated with stimulant medication (such as Vyvanse or Concerta), as well as with behavior therapy or a combination of the two.

Individuals with ADHD smoke at rates significantly higher than the general population, and they often start earlier. Studies have shown that youth with ADHD are two to three times more likely to smoke cigarettes than their peers, and 40 percent of adults with ADHD smoke regularly, more than twice the rate among adults without ADHD.

Research on how stimulant medications influence smoking behaviors in individuals with ADHD has led to mixed results. Some studies suggest an increase in smoking among those treated with stimulant medications, while others showed no effect or a decrease in smoking.

"Nicotine operates on the same pathways in the brain as stimulant medications, and the relationship between stimulants and smoking has been controversial," said lead author Erin Schoenfelder, Ph.D., clinical associate and a psychologist in the D
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Contact: Rachel Harrison
rachel.harrison@duke.edu
919-419-5069
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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