ADHD Stimulant Drug Treatment May Increase Risk of Drug Abuse

A recent study published in the online issue of the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior studied a select group of rats by giving them methylphenidate (a primary ingredient in most ADHD medication), with a control group of rats living under normal conditions. The group of rats given methylphenidate was much more likely to self dispense cocaine through a system set up by the researchers.

Parents look to alternatives for ADHD

Although conventional drug treatments can help control ADHD behavior, they cannot improve mental or physical health. In fact, ADHD drug complications can include stunted growth, chromosome damage, increased blood pressure, arrhythmia, stroke and even death. In addition, prescription medications used to treat ADHD can have dangerous side effects, including nausea, vomiting, allergic reactions, nervous tics, dizziness, stomach pain and headaches. With more than 10 million ADHD prescriptions filled each year in the US, any indication that these medications pose a health risk to children is reason for some concern. And as ADHD sales increase (500 percent during 1990s), many parents may wonder if there aren't alternatives to these drugs. The good news is that there are safe and clinically proven alternatives to ADHD prescription medication. Parents are encouraged to talk to their pediatricians and health care professionals about alternatives, including enhanced diet and exercise, and natural alternatives, that may help control the symptoms of ADHD.

Photo Credit: Chance Fate

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