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This chapter delineates answers to several related but distinct questions pertaining to the abuse potential of stimulant drugs used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). First, the bulk of the clinical evidence suggests that treatment of ADHD with stimulant drugs reduces the risk for subsequent drug abuse, although more research is needed in this area. Second, a considerable literature in a number of species supports the abuse potential of the most commonly used medications to treat ADHD: methylphenidate (MPH) and amphetamine (AMP). Third, alternatives to stimulant drugs, such as atomoxetine and modafinil, do not seem to share the same level of abuse liability as the stimulant drugs. Finally, although there are rare cases of actual abuse or dependence on MPH or AMP as formulated for the treatment of ADHD, a more salient concern is the extent to which these drugs are diverted and misused in non-ADHD individuals.
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