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A stimulant is any drug that speeds up the body’s functions. The most common stimulants are those that excite the brain and central nervous system. Their use promotes alertness, elevated mood, wakefulness, increased speech and motor activity and decreased activity.
All stimulation medications come with risks. Research shows that in both children and adults, stimulants are linked to an increase risk for heart attacks, stoke and high blood pressure. In addition to the increased risk for heart problems, stimulants have been associated with a slower growth rate in children. However more recent studies have shown that children with ADHD who take stimulation medication may have a slowing of growth rate but tend to catch up by the time they reach adolescence.7 Another study suggests that children with ADHD who take stimulants grow at the same rate as children with ADHD who don’t take stimulants. The study went on to conclude ADHD—not stimulants—may be the reason a slower growth rate in children.^^ Stimulants can also be dangerous for individuals with...