As a follow up to my last post,
Here are 5 more studies on the well known (among those familiar with ADHD) links between ADHD and Addictions.
Or 5 more reasons why governments should start properly diagnosing and treating adults and children with ADHD now, or pay 100 times the price later in addictions and all the associated costs; crime, incarceration, additional health care costs, career costs, family damage, etc. And I’m not even mentioning the links between ADHD and tobacco and marijuana, which are the #1 and #3 most popular drugs for children and adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to abuse.
1. 35% of Cocaine Abusers had ADHD
Comprehensive Psychiatry. 1993 Mar-Apr;34(2):75-82
35% of 298 treatment-seeking cocaine abusers met DSM-III-R (the previous version of DSM IV)
criteria for childhood ADHD. Those that had ADHD were 78% male, 93% had conduct disorder and 47% had antisocial personality disorder and report a history of conduct disorder in first-degree relatives.
Cocaine abusers with childhood ADHD were younger at presentation for treatment and reported more severe substance use, earlier onset of cocaine abuse, more frequent and intense cocaine use, intranasal rather than freebase or intravenous use of cocaine, higher rates of alcoholism, and more previous treatment. This pattern of cocaine use is consistent with clinical descriptions of self-medication of residual symptoms of ADHD in cocaine abusers. Data from this study suggest that there may be more cocaine abusers with a history of ADHD than previously recognized in clinical samples of cocaine users, and that these individuals may differ in clinically meaningful ways from those without childhood ADHD. Moreover, the poorer outcome of subjects with ADHD in this sample underlines the importance of identifying and treating residual symptoms of ADHD in cocaine abusers.
2. 24% of Psychoactive Substance Abusers had ADHD
Two hundred one participants were selected randomly from 2 chemical dependency treatment centers
Forty-eight (24%) of the participants were found to meet DSM-IV criteria for ADHD. The prevalence of ADHD was 28% in men (30/106) and 19% in women (18/95; NS). Seventy-nine participants (39%) met criteria for conduct disorder, and 34 of these individuals also had ADHD. Overall, individuals with ADHD (compared with those without ADHD) were more likely to have had more motor vehicle accidents. Women with ADHD (in comparison with women without ADHD) had a higher number of treatments for alcohol abuse.
CONCLUSION: A significant overrepresentation of ADHD exists among inpatients with psychoactive substance use disorders. Over two thirds of those with ADHD in this sample also met criteria for conduct disorder. Our sample had a very large overlap between ADHD and conduct disorder, and the major comorbidities identified here were attributable largely to the presence of conduct disorder. Individuals who manifest conduct disorder and/or ADHD represent a significant proportion of those seeking treatment for psychoactive substance use disorders. They appear to have greater comorbidity and may benefit from a treatment approach that addresses these comorbidities specifically through medical and behavioral therapies.
3. 32% of Cocaine Users and Alcoholics had ADHD
Of 136 inpatients with an SUD (substance use disorder) diagnosis (cocaine vs. alcohol vs. cocaine/alcohol) 32% had ADHD.
There were no significant differences in the percentage of ADHD between the SUD+ groups divided by drug choice…. Patients with cocaine use were more likely to have ADHD in childhood only when compared to the alcohol or cocaine-alcohol groups. The findings of this study indicate that ADHD is prevalent in treatment-seeking substance users without difference in prevalence or subtype by drug choice.
4. 70% of Crystal Meth (Methamphetamine) Inpatients had ADHD
Methamphetamine-dependent inpatients (N = 51) were screened for childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) using the Wender Utah Rating Scale upon admission to 30-day inpatient treatment. Baseline assessments included neuropsychological tests of executive function, memory, information processing, verbal fluency, attention, motor skills, and the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), a measure of psychiatric symptomatology. The thirty-six participants (70.6%) screening positive for ADHD reported significantly more frequent methamphetamine use prior to baseline. Baseline cognitive functioning was similar between groups, but the presumptive ADHD participants exhibited significantly worse psychiatric symptomatology. At three-week follow- up, 41 participants (80.4%) repeated the neuropsychological battery and BSI. All 10 non-completers screened positive for ADHD. The entire sample improved with abstinence in most neuropsychological domains except memory. The presumptive ADHD group failed to improve on tests of attention. All participants demonstrated significant reductions in psychiatric symptoms with abstinence.
Methamphetamine-dependent individuals with ADHD symptoms are common and pose a significant treatment challenge.
5. 83% of Inhalant Abusers and 55% of Methamphetamine Abusers in Japan had ADHD.
They examined the childhood histories of 54 methamphetamine users and 12 inhalant abusers in Japan using the Wender Utah Rating Scale.
The inhalant abusers experienced initial drinking at a younger age than methamphetamine abuser…83.3% of inhalant and 55.6% of methamphetamine abusers had higher scores than the cut-off for ADHD. These findings suggest that drug abuse is associated with childhood ADHD, and that inhalant abusers have a higher incidence of childhood ADHD than methamphetamine abusers.
There’s more on the links between ADHD and addictions on this page of my 100+ ADD resource website