A common concern many parents have when considering ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) medications for their child is if they are addicting.
While people with ADHD can have addictive personalities and hyper-focused tendencies, growing research has shown that the ADHD meds themselves used to curb these very symptoms are typically not addictive. In fact, there is mounting evidence beginning to support the contrary — properly managed dosing related to stimulant-type ADHD medications, can help prevent substance abuse and addiction by boosting self-esteem and promoting more rational, focused, and thoughtful behavior.
Child Neurology Consultants of Austin often recommends stimulant medications in addition to other types of therapy and treatments and has had safe and successful results in countless of our young ADHD patients.
How do ADHD medications work?
Stimulant medications, one of the most common and effective forms of ADHD therapy, work by increasing (or stimulating) dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain. This results in a calming effect which in turn provides the brain greater opportunity to focus clearly and for a child to be more productive. There are two classes of these medications, methylphenidate (MPH) and amphetamine (AMP), and they are often prescribed in extended, or slow, release formulas to help a child maintain a steady focus throughout the day, such as while at school.
How are ADHD medications different from other stimulant drugs?
Because MPH and AMP medications for ADHD purposes are designed to be slow-releasing, they do not offer the quick ‘high,’ or jolt to the brain, that is typically craved and cause for addiction as with so many other stimulant substances–like caffeine, nicotine, or cocaine. With careful dosing and monitoring by a board-certified pediatric neurologist, and safe administering by parents, these medications often prove highly successful in managing symptoms for most children and teenagers with ADHD.
What are the benefits of ADHD stimulant medications?
By facilitating an easier pathway for a child’s brain to focus, the benefits of stimulant medication include:
- Improved participation and performance at school
- Greater level of comfort in social or group settings
- Enhanced executive functioning skills
- Boost in self-confidence
- Increased impulse control
Many children will typically grow out of the most severe ADHD symptoms on their own, and the need for medication often dwindles as the brain matures.
More resources on ADHD medications and other effective therapies, like supplements, that Child Neurology Consultants offers can be found here.
Child Neurology Consultants of Austin has experience treating a wide range of neurological conditions in children and teenagers from 0 to 21 years old. To make an appointment with one of our board-certified pediatric neurologists, please contact us here.