- Lauren Dungy
- Shaunti Feldhahn
- Tim and Darcy Kimmel
- Betsy Landers
- Dr. Walt Larimore
- Mark Merrill
- Joanne Miller
- Dr. Gary J. Oliver
- Kathy Peel
- Dr. Greg Smalley
- Dr. Scott Turansky
- Jill Savage
Articles by Dr. Walt Larimore
- Your Child Needs a Well-Child Checkup
- You Are the Key to Your Teen’s Well-Being
- Why Energy Drinks Are Bad for Your Teeth
- Why Bottled Water is Bad for Your Teeth
- Why Baby Media Does Not Advance Learning
- Whooping Cough Epidemic
- What Is the Genetic Link With ADHD?
- What Is My ADHD Child Feeling?
- What about Adopted Children?
- Weight Loss That Works…and Keeps Working
- The Ten Commitments of Great Parents
- The Teen Years--Ready, Set, Go
- The Parental Team--It Takes Two
- The One Thing Your Kids Need to Avoid for A Good Night’s Sleep
- The Different Layers of Health Care
- The Death-Defying Power of Healthy Marriage
- The Crucial Importance of R.E.S.T.
- The Attributes of Great Parents
- The ADHD Child
- The ABCD's of Parenting Teens
- The 12 Ways of Hands-On Parents
- Television and Childhood Obesity
- Talking to Your Kids About Puberty
- Superfoods for Women
- Summer – Fun, Food, Fellowship, and Fat?
- Study shows no link between increased cell phone use and brain cancer incidence
- Small Changes Bring Big Results
- Showing Gratitude for Partner's Generosity
- Quality Time or Quantity Time?
- Postpartum Depression
- Poll Shows Sex within Marriage is More Fulfilling
- Obesity: Television, Video Games and Your Children’s Health
- Obesity: Soft Drinks Effect Health
- Obesity: It’s a Killer Epidemic
- Obesity: Children and Fast Food
- Loud Music and Teenage Hearing Loss
- Learn as much about ADHD as you can
- Is Chocolate the Next Super Food?
- Is ADHD Different in Boys and Girls?
- Is ADHD Associated With Risk-Taking Behaviors?
- How to Change These Four Bad Habits
- How to be Happier and More Satisfied
- How Common Is ADHD?
- Hepatitis C and Tattoos
- Healthy Holidays
- Hands-on Parenting: How it Works
- Good Relationship with Dad Can Help Fight Stress
- Fast food and your family
- Explore Treatment Options
- Dr. Larimore’s 11 Tips for Weight Loss Success
Dr. Walt LarimoreWalt Larimore, M.D. has been called “one of America’s best known family physicians.” He is a nationally-known and nationally sought after speaker and health expert. read bio
Is ADHD Associated With Risk-Taking Behaviors?
There are studies indicating that there is an association between ADHD and the abuse of alcohol and drugs, as well as criminal activity. When it comes to tobacco abuse, a study from the University of California, Berkley, reported “a significant difference in rates of daily smoking and tobacco dependence for those with ADHD who had used stimulant medication in childhood in contrast to controls.” These researchers felt there was a possible link between ADHD treatment histories and levels of tobacco dependence in adulthood.
However, most experts believe these anti-social behaviors are much more likely in those who have ADHD and another disorder, such as conduct disorders and mental health disorders. They believe those with ADHD alone do not appear to be at increased risk for these problems. For example, they point to a study that showed that medication for children with ADHD reduced the probability of substance use disorder (SUD) by 85 percent when compared with the risk among un-medicated kids with ADHD.
The general danger of the typical characteristics of ADHD –– particularly in adolescence and adulthood — is a desire for high-risk activity. Dr. Dobson points out, “Even as children they can be accident-prone. But, as they get older, rock climbing, bungee jumping, car racing, motorcycle riding, white-water rafting and other high-risk activities are among their favorite activities.”
“Adults with ADHD are sometimes called ‘adrenaline junkies,’ because they are hooked on the ‘high’ produced by the adrenaline rush associated with dangerous behavior. Others are more susceptible to drug use, alcoholism and other addictive behaviors.” Because of this, about 40 percent of adolescents living with ADHD have been arrested by their eighteenth birthday.
Dr. Dobson warns those with ADHD: “Some adults who have ADHD are at higher risk for marital conflict, too. It can be very irritating to a compulsive, highly ordered husband or wife to be married to a ‘messy’ — someone whose life is chaotic and one who forgets to pay the bills, fix the car or keep records for income-tax reports. Such a couple usually needs professional counseling to help them learn to work together and capitalize on each other’s strengths.”
Nevertheless, for many that live with ADHD, the symptoms will diminish with neurological social maturing. Nevertheless, it is helpful for all of us to realize that many of those living with ADHD can, with instruction, skill and mentoring, demonstrate in remarkable ways their outstanding giftedness — which can include creativity, energy, enterprising thinking and leadership skills.
Taken with permission from the book Why ADHD Doesn’t Mean Disaster, Walt Larrimore, MD, Dennis Swanberg and Diane Passno; . A Focus on the Family book published by Tyndale House Publishers.
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