Stimulants from the amphetamine family are the principal methods for treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, there are some concerns that this may predispose people towards drug use later in life. Some studies have shown an increase in cocaine and nicotine use, others have shown no effect while others have concluded that ADHD medication can have a protective effect. A study of 112 children who had been treated for ADHD between the ages of 6 and 17 followed them up ten years later and found that although 22% of them were still taking stimulants 'there were no statistically significant associations between stimulant treatment and alcohol, drug or nicotine use disorders'. Those who had been treated for ADHD in childhood were neither more or less likely than other people to drink, smoke or take drugs.
Biederman, Joseph ... [et al] - Stimulant therapy and risk for subsequent substance use disorders in male adults with ADHD: a naturalistic controlled 10-year follow-up study American Journal of Psychiatry May 2008, 165(5), 597-603