top of page

Stimulants & ADHD: What You Need to Know

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder is the root of many debates ranging from whether it really exists to how to treat it -- if at all. Current public perceptions indicate that ADHD is over-medicated and over-diagnosed, and despite several studies that find the opposite of these beliefs, many people still hold onto that idea.

Where Does ADHD Come From?

Scientists still aren’t certain what causes ADHD; although, current evidence points toward a genetic cause. Evidence also seems to rule out causes such as watching too much television, eating too much sugar, or instability during childhood. That’s not to say that these factors do not aggravate symptoms of adult ADHD; it only means that they are not likely to cause it.

For the most part, scientists are beginning to view ADHD as a condition that arises from differences in the brain structure development that may or may not be related to chemical differences, particularly a lack of the neurotransmitter, dopamine. Dopamine plays a vital role in motor control, attention and focus, motivation, and reward to name just a few. Basically, what we are left with is the idea that ADHD can arise when the brain structure is affected by the lack of dopamine – and symptoms such as problems with attention follow.

Treating Adult ADHD with Stimulants

Understanding why and how ADHD comes about is key to “treating” it or coping with symptoms. Currently, it's treated with ADHD medication and cognitive behavioral therapy. Many people swear by natural remedies and diet restrictions, but studies are limited on their success.

Prescribing medications, particularly stimulants, often leads to controversy. Adult ADHD is treated with medication or therapy. The stimulants used in ADHD treatment are often misunderstood. Learn the facts about stimulants and ADHD.