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However, researchers have found marked differences between the two drugs.Parents sometimes worry whether the stimulant drugs their children are taking to treat ADHD (such as Ritalin and Adderall) are themselves addictive.Stimulant medications work by raising levels of a chemical messenger called dopamine in the brain, which helps improve focus and attention -- skills that people with ADHD often find difficult to master.ADHD may last into adulthood about a third to half the time, and some studies have shown that children with ADHD may be more likely than the general population to develop alcohol and substance abuse problems when they get older.Several studies have shown a strong connection between ADHD, drug abuse, and alcoholism.

People with ADHD tend to be more impulsive and likely to have behavior problems, both of which can contribute to drug and alcohol abuse, researchers say.

Also, both ADHD and alcoholism tend to run in families.

Researchers have also found links between ADHD and the use of marijuana and other recreational drugs, particularly in people who also have other psychological disorders (such as obsessive-compulsive disorder).

What's more, people with ADHD typically start having problems with drugs and alcohol at an earlier age than people without the condition.