JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Prescription Stimulants: From Cognitive Enhancement to Misuse

Timothy E Wilens, Tamar Arit Kaminski
Pediatric Clinics of North America 2019, 66 (6): 1109-1120
31679601
The nonmedical use of prescription stimulants has become increasingly pervasive among transitional age youth (TAY), aged 16 years to 26 years. Although therapeutically administered stimulants are regarded as safe and effective in TAY with attention-deficit/hyperactivity syndrome (ADHD), stimulant misuse is of concern due to prevalence, behavioral health and substance use correlates, and negative short-term and long-term outcomes. Although academic motivations primarily drive misuse, it is unclear whether prescription ADHD stimulants enhance cognition. Providers are advised to exercise precautions when prescribing ADHD medications, enhance surveillance for misuse, and screen those with misuse for ADHD and other psychopathology, executive dysfunction, and substance use disorders.

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