Fast Five Quiz: Test Yourself on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults

Stephen Soreff, MD


August 23, 2018

The therapeutic approach to ADHD in adults has been shifting. In some cases, environmental restructuring and behavioral therapy alone has been effective. Behavioral psychotherapy is often successful when used in conjunction with an effective medication regimen. For adults with ADHD, stimulants represent the best first-line therapeutic option. Many adults with ADHD report remarkable improvement in their lives as a result of stimulant medication treatment.

Tricyclic antidepressants (eg, imipramine, desipramine, nortriptyline) have been found effective in numerous studies in patients with ADHD; however, because of potential adverse effects, they are rarely used for this purpose.

Metacognitive therapy involves the principles and techniques of cognitive and behavioral therapies to enhance time management. In doing so, these have made adult patients with ADHD better able to counter the anxiety and depressive symptoms they experience in task performance. Metacognitive therapy has proven to be more effective than supportive interventions and represents a viable therapeutic approach.

Studies have demonstrated that stimulant therapy for ADHD in children and adolescents does not increase the risk for future substance use or abuse. In one study, 112 people with ADHD were observed for a period of 10 years. At the time of the follow-up assessment, 82 (73%) had been treated previously with stimulants and 25 (22%) were undergoing stimulant treatment. No statistically significant associations were noticed between stimulant treatment and alcohol, drug, or nicotine use disorders. The findings revealed no evidence that stimulant treatment increases or decreases the risk for subsequent substance use disorders in children and adolescents with ADHD when they reach adulthood.

For more on the treatment of ADHD in adults, read here.


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