New program empowers teens to make choices about ADHD meds

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Posted by Ayleen Barbel Fattal

FIU’s Center for Children and Families (CCF) is offering a new program to help teens with ADHD make healthy, informed decisions about treatment.

Nearly 20 percent of children in the U.S. suffer from a mental or behavior disorder with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) being the most common. Research by CCF Director William E. Pelham, Jr. shows the most effective form of treatment for ADHD is a combination behavioral intervention and medication.

For teenagers, ADHD medication allows them to focus in the classroom and concentrate on schoolwork. However, one of the problems is teenagers with ADHD don’t always remember, or choose not to take their medication. Because there are many options for treatment and varying types of medication, it may help to educate teens about the choices they can make about their treatment.

The CCF program can help teenagers learn about the benefits of medication. It could also motivate them to stick with their treatment while helping parents and teens work together in making a plan for the medication. The program is part of a research study for adolescents between the ages of 12 and 16 who have ADHD and are currently taking prescription medication for ADHD.

Participants receive brief sessions with a counselor to build skills related to making healthy, independent choices regarding their medication. Parents may attend some sessions. The program will last for two and a half years and all counseling sessions will be provided free of charge at the participant’s pediatrician’s office.

To find out more about the program or see if your child is eligible, call 305-348-8168 or email adherence@fiu.edu.

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