Treatment of Teens with ADHD

Unfortunately, no cure currently exists for ADHD. Therefore, treatment focuses on symptom management. Although the symptoms of ADHD may change with age, teens with ADHD still require treatment to target these symptoms and may require treatment into adulthood.

It is a myth that medication becomes less effective in the teen years. In fact, medications for ADHD should be as effective, but patterns of co-occurring conditions may require changes to the treatment regimen. Additionally, many teens may benefit from changing to long-acting medications to provide better symptom management throughout the day as many teens have activities after the school day has ended and into the evening hours. Another myth is that medication use may increase the risk of substance abuse. In fact, as mentioned above, medications reduce the risk of substance abuse for teens with ADHD.

Behavioral intervention is another common treatment approach for teens with ADHD. Proven psychosocial treatments include parent-teen training in problem-solving and communication skills, parent training in behavioral management methods and teacher training in classroom management. Little or no research currently exists to support the use of dietary treatments, traditional psychotherapy, play therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy or social skills training for treating ADHD. However, these interventions may be effective in treating co-occurring conditions if present.

The most common and effective treatment for teens with ADHD combines medication and psychosocial treatment approaches. This is sometimes referred to as multi-modal treatment.

Excerpted from “Treatment of Teens with ADHD” from Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD). Read the full article online on the CHADD website.

You might find the following articles from CHADD helpful as well:

Source: CHADD | Treatment of Teens with ADHD, | © 2022 CHADD
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