A pair of University of Florida College of Pharmacy researchers published a study on the Journal of the American Medical Association, or JAMA, Network Open examining the prevalence and factors associated with the long-term concurrent use of stimulants and opioids among adults with ADHD. Yu-Jung “Jenny” Wei, Ph.D., an assistant professor of pharmaceutical outcomes and policy, and Almut Winterstein, Ph.D., a professor and the Dr. Robert and Barbara Crisafi Chair of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy, authored the study that found adults with ADHD are increasingly using these two types of drugs concomitantly. The prevalent long-term concomitant use was significantly associated with older age, non-Hispanic whites, in the southern United States, or a pain, anxiety disorder or substance use disorder diagnosis.
“While this may not be surprising in light of the opioid epidemic, it is particularly concerning because stimulants bear risk for abuse themselves and ADHD has been linked to a higher prevalence of substance use disorder,” said Wei. “The observed pattern in our study, especially long-term concomitant use of stimulants and opioids, is certainly a concern and requires more clinical and scientific attention.”