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Physician Perceptions of ADHD Stimulant Diversion and Misuse.

Authors
  • Colaneri, Natalie M1
  • Keim, Sarah A2
  • Adesman, Andrew1
  • 1 Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, New Hyde Park, NY, USA.
  • 2 Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Attention Disorders
Publisher
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2020
Volume
24
Issue
2
Pages
290–300
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/1087054716649664
PMID: 27206453
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Objective: The recent rise in ADHD has prompted concerns about adolescents with ADHD diverting and/or misusing stimulants. This is the first study to assess physician perceptions of the pervasiveness of these issues. Method: Questionnaires were mailed to a national sample of pediatric subspecialists. Responses were analyzed (n = 826; 18% response rate) using descriptive statistics and regression analyses. Results: In the past year, 59% of physicians suspected ≥1 patient(s) with ADHD diverted stimulants. Seventy-four percent believed ≥1 patient(s) feigned symptoms to obtain an initial ADHD diagnosis; 66% believed ≥1 patient(s) wanted stimulants to improve academic performance. Child and adolescent psychiatrists were most likely to suspect diversion and feigning symptoms. Thirty-nine percent of physicians believed diversion was at least "common." Conclusion: Although many physicians suspected stimulant diversion and misuse, a substantial number were unaware of these issues, and subspecialist perceptions varied. These findings support the potential pervasiveness of these issues and the need for increased physician awareness.

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