ADHD and Marijuana Whole Lotta Self-Medication Going On
A new study published in the journal Psychiatry Research this September found men with ADHD were using pot to help with attention while females with ADHD used it for sleep. In an earlier related study published by Substance Use and Misuse online this October, a survey found that when not using cannabis, a higher proportion of daily users met symptom criteria for an ADHD diagnoses of the subtypes that include hyperactiv-impulsive symptoms than the inattentive subtype. For nondaily users, the proportions of users meeting symptom criteria did not differ by subtype. These findings indirectly support research linking relevant cannabinoid receptors to regulatory control.
According to Dr Levinson, these results are somewhat contradictory and so require additional validation. If indeed pot was used primarily for attention or sleep and not to control activity and impulsivity as indicated by the first study, pot use should not have significantly decreased these latter symptoms as indicated by the second study. And because lots of self medication was going on, studies are needed to determine the individuals non-ADHD state and pot use as well as the efficacy of the ADHD treatment to control symptoms in those taking or not-taking pot. Since most studies show that effective ADHD treatment reduce the later risk of drug abuse, it might also be helpful to contrast the incidence of pot use in those ADHD medically treated vs. those untreated or inadequately treated. Clearly, the unanalyzed title might mistakenly suggest the opposite: that ADHD treatment increases drug or pot abuse.
About Harold Levinson, M.D.
Formerly Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at New York University Medical Center, Dr. Harold Levinson is currently Director of the Levinson Medical Center for Learning Disabilities in Great Neck, New York. He is a well known neuropsychiatrist, clinical researcher and author. His "highly original" research into the cerebellar-vestibular (inner-ear) origins and treatment of dyslexia and related learning, attention-deficit/hyperactivity and anxiety or phobic disorders has evolved over the past four decades. Levinson's concepts encompass the collective insights derived from the examinations, follow-up and successful treatment of over 35,000 children, adults and even seniors and have led to new methods of screening, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. His expanded theories appear capable of encompassing and/or explaining all reported symptoms as well as most other concepts and experimental data, thus resulting in a truly holistic perspective.
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