J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry

About 15.5% of high school seniors have been prescribed a stimulant to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or have taken these medications without a prescription, according to data from the 2010 and 2011 Monitoring the Future study.

Over the past two decades, there has been a large increase in the number of adolescents diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed stimulant medications. One possible result may be an increase in the diversion of these medications to those without the disorder. Furthermore, questions remain regarding the association between taking stimulants and using substances such as cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana and other drugs.

Researchers analyzed data from 4,572 high school seniors who completed the Monitoring the Future study to determine lifetime prevalence of medical and nonmedical use of prescription stimulants. They also assessed the associations between the...

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