Friday, December 18, 2009

American Academy Addiction Psychiatry 2009 part 2

I want to continue to update you on some of the studies recently presented at the annual meeting of Addiction Psychiatry held earlier this month. As I said before I did not attend the conference. I received my information from medical sites on the web. There was an interesting presentation The study was conducted by a professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of medicine funded by National Institute on Drug Abuse and involved Concerta ( a slow release version of methylphenidate) which is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The findings from 303 adolescents ranged in age from 13-18 from 11 community based treatment programs who had both ADHD and substance abuse showed that Concerta after a 16 weeks was no more effective in the treatment group than the placebo group. The drugs that were used were marijuana (91%) alcohol (56%) hallucinogens (12%) cocaine 10%) and smaller numbers for opioid and amphetamine abuse. One confounding factor which needs to be investigated further is that both the treatment and placebo groups received cognitive behavioral therapy. Both groups showed improvement but there is always improvement in placebo groups so we don't know whether the cognitive behavioral therapy had any effect or not. The study was not designed to address that question. But it is clear that Concerta is generally of no value in treating adolescents with ADHD who are abusing alcohol and drugs. It will be interesting to see if similar studies will show the same lack of effectiveness. I don't think any of the pharmaceutical companies will funding or helping fund such research.

Thought for the day

If you are abusing alcohol and drugs you might as well quit taking your medication as it won't work unless you quit.

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