AD/HD, Stimulants, and Substance Abuse
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By Kristin Stanberry
As your teen leaves home to live on his own
As your teen prepares to move into an apartment or a college dorm, make sure he:
- knows how (and where) to have his prescriptions refilled. If he takes a stimulant, remind him that he may need to visit his doctor each time he needs authorization for the next refill; this adds time to the refill process.
- has a system for storing and taking his medication on schedule.
- understands how the lack of adult supervision will make it critical for him to safeguard and safely take his medication - and to stand up against peer pressure to misuse or share his medication.
Scientific research into the relationship between AD/HD, stimulant use, and substance use disorders is ongoing. The development of non-stimulant drugs to treat AD/HD will likely continue. As a parent, you'd be wise to stay abreast of news on both fronts.
Warnings about possible side effects of prescription medications are updated frequently. To stay abreast of recent warnings that may have been issued on your child's medication, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Consumer Education/Information website, and ask your pharmacist for an update each time you refill the prescription.
AD/HD by Other Names and Acronyms
While Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) is the official term and acronym used by today's mental health care professionals, it is sometimes referred to by other names and abbreviations. For example, it is sometimes called:
ADHD (without the "slash" in the middle)
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)