Investigators from the University of California, Los Angeles, performed a meta-analysis of the association between treatment with stimulant medication during childhood and later substance use and substance abuse or dependence outcomes. Odds ratios were obtained for alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, nicotine, and nonspecific drugs for 2565 participants from 15 different studies. Results suggest comparable outcomes between children with and without medication treatment history across all substance types. Treatment of ADHD with stimulant medication neither protects nor increases the risk of later substance use disorders. [1]

COMMENT. In an earlier meta-analysis report, Wilens TE et al. [2] found stimulant therapy in childhood to be associated with a reduction in the risk for subsequent drug and alcohol use disorders in young adulthood.