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Addict Behav. 2008 Sep;33(9):1199-207. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2008.05.003. Epub 2008 May 13.

Correlates of co-occurring ADHD in drug-dependent subjects: prevalence and features of substance dependence and psychiatric disorders.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT 06030, USA.


We examined the prevalence and course of psychiatric and substance dependence (SD) disorders in subjects with SD and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).


We interviewed 1761 adults with a lifetime diagnosis of cocaine and/or opioid dependence using the Semi-Structured Assessment for Drug Dependence and Alcoholism. Generalized linear regression with generalized estimating equation analysis was used to examine the associations between a lifetime diagnosis of ADHD and indicators of clinical course, and to identify unique correlates of ADHD.


Lifetime ADHD prevalence in the SD sample was 5.22% (vs. 0.85% in a group of individuals without SD). ADHD was associated with an earlier age of first substance use, more SD and psychiatric diagnoses, a greater likelihood of attempted suicide, and more hospitalizations. After controlling for conduct disorder, there were unique effects of ADHD on age of first substance use and number of SD diagnoses.


In subjects with cocaine or opioid dependence, ADHD is associated with greater SD and psychiatric comorbidity and a more severe course of illness.

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