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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 66-72

The impact of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder across the lifespan on substance use disorders

Department of Neuropsychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Soha Ibrahim
Department of Neuropsychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, 23225 Alexandria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-1105.158113

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Introduction Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects not only children, but persists into adulthood with a prevalence rate up to 4.4% in the general population. The association between ADHD and substance use disorders (SUDs) is getting more into the scientific focus. However, the impact of ADHD on SUD regarding the economic system and healthcare is still underestimated. Aim of the work The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of childhood and adult ADHD on SUD by comparing the SUD clinical outcome between a group of SUD inpatients having a history of childhood ADHD and another group of SUD inpatients having concurrent adult ADHD. Participants and methods A cross-sectional comparative study was conducted at the Addiction Treatment Center at El Maamoura Mental Hospital. In all, 102 adult male patients were assessed using a clinical psychiatric interview and psychometric assessment using the Arabic version of Wender Utah Rating Scale for retrospective assessment of symptoms of childhood ADHD. Also, the Arabic version of the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS-v1.1) Symptom Checklist was used to screen for adult ADHD. Results Sixty-four patients out of the total studied sample had a history of childhood ADHD. Of them, only 36 patients fulfilled the DSM-IV-TR criteria for adult ADHD. The presence of adult ADHD was associated with an earlier mean age of onset of SUD (13.22 vs. 14.86 years), a larger number of hospital admissions (4.21 vs. 6.83 times), and a shorter mean period of abstinence (124.53 vs. 271.50 days) than patients with a history of childhood ADHD. Conclusion In comparison with childhood ADHD, the presence of adult ADHD among patients with SUD was associated with a more complicated course of SUDs and a poorer clinical outcome.

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