A growing number of studies have shown that adults with ADHD may be at greater risk for health- and safety-related problems than their peers without ADHD. Their greater risktaking behaviors and frequently erratic driving practices (inability to follow driving rules, inconsistent operation of vehicles) increase the chances of injuries. During adolescence and young adulthood, they may also have more unprotected sex with a greater number of partners than those without ADHD, and are therefore at greater risk for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted infections.
It is important that your child be informed as early as the preteen and early teen years about these areas of increased risk. A healthy and proactive stance for a young adult with ADHD includes monitoring his risk-taking behaviors closely. In general, the more fully he understands that his health and safety are his own responsibility, and that monitoring his risktaking behavior will always be an important part of his life, the better prepared he will be to meet these challenges. Switching to long-acting stimulant preparations or making sure symptoms are under control when driving or well into the evening hours may also help with critical decision-making and problem-solving skills affected by uncontrolled ADHD symptoms.