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Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Associations between subtype and lifetime substance use – a clinical study


Liebrenz, Michael; Gamma, Alex; Ivanov, Iliyan; Buadze, Anna; Eich, Dominique (2015). Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Associations between subtype and lifetime substance use – a clinical study. F1000Research, 4:407.

Abstract

ADHD is the one of the most prevalent childhood disorders and has been associated with impairments persisting into adulthood. Specifically, childhood ADHD is an independent clinical risk factor for the development of later substance use disorders (SUD). Moreover, adults who meet diagnostic criteria for ADHD have shown high rates of comorbid SUDs. Few studies, however, have reported on the relationship between ADHD subtypes and SUD in adult samples. The purpose of this study was to characterize a clinical sample of adults with ADHD and to identify possible associations between ADHD subtypes, lifetime substance use, and if ADHD subtypes may be preferentially associated with specific substances of abuse. We recruited 413 adult ADHD patients, performed an evaluation of their ADHD and conducted an interview on their use of psychotropic substances. Complete data was obtained for 349 patients. Lifetime substance abuse or dependence was 26% and occasional use was 57% in this sample. The inattentive subtype was significantly less likely to abuse or be dependent on cocaine than the combined subtype. Our findings underscore the high rate of comorbidity between substance use and ADHD in adults. The more frequent abuse/dependence of cocaine by adult patients with hyperactive-impulsive symptoms should be kept in mind when treating this patient group.

Abstract

ADHD is the one of the most prevalent childhood disorders and has been associated with impairments persisting into adulthood. Specifically, childhood ADHD is an independent clinical risk factor for the development of later substance use disorders (SUD). Moreover, adults who meet diagnostic criteria for ADHD have shown high rates of comorbid SUDs. Few studies, however, have reported on the relationship between ADHD subtypes and SUD in adult samples. The purpose of this study was to characterize a clinical sample of adults with ADHD and to identify possible associations between ADHD subtypes, lifetime substance use, and if ADHD subtypes may be preferentially associated with specific substances of abuse. We recruited 413 adult ADHD patients, performed an evaluation of their ADHD and conducted an interview on their use of psychotropic substances. Complete data was obtained for 349 patients. Lifetime substance abuse or dependence was 26% and occasional use was 57% in this sample. The inattentive subtype was significantly less likely to abuse or be dependent on cocaine than the combined subtype. Our findings underscore the high rate of comorbidity between substance use and ADHD in adults. The more frequent abuse/dependence of cocaine by adult patients with hyperactive-impulsive symptoms should be kept in mind when treating this patient group.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:22 Jan 2016 15:55
Last Modified:15 May 2018 15:41
Publisher:Faculty of 1000 Ltd.
ISSN:2046-1402
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.6780.1

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