Work and Dignity   /   Fall 2012   /    Interviews

Patterns among Leading Drug Classes

Julie Magno Zito

The best evidence supporting youth treatment with a psychotropic drug class is found for stimu- lants. A large, publicly funded study of seven- to ten-year-olds established a significant benefit of stimulant treatment using a defined treatment protocol over a fourteen-month period. On the other hand, follow-up data at intervals up to eight years reveal that the early gains in symptom control by those assigned to stimulant treatment were not sustained in terms of continuing use and improvement; study treatment groups at eight years did no better on numerous measures of outcome than those randomly assigned to a community control. And psychotherapy experts have criticized some of the strong inferences promulgated on the benefits of stimulant therapy alone to treat behavioral disorders.

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