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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2014 Feb 1;135:88-94. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2013.11.013. Epub 2013 Nov 25.

Childhood and current ADHD symptom dimensions are associated with more severe cannabis outcomes in college students.

Author information

1
Center for Alcohol and Addition Studies, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University, Box G-S121-4, Providence, RI 02912, United States; Rhode Island Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Behavioral Genetics, 1 Hoppin Street, Providence, RI 02903, United States. Electronic address: cinnamon_bidwell@brown.edu.
2
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309, United States.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Numerous studies have shown that attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated higher risk of cannabis use disorders (CUD). However, these studies are limited in that most did not: (a) differentiate the role of hyperactivity-impulsivity (HI) and inattention (IN); (b) control for associated psychopathology; and (c) consider more fine-grained CUD-related measures. Our aim was to clarify the unique and interactive contributions of inattention and hyperactivity symptoms to age of cannabis initiation and DSM-IV cannabis dependence, craving, and severity of problems related to cannabis use while statistically controlling for symptoms of comorbid psychopathology in a non-clinical sample of young adults.

METHODS:

Cannabis variables, current use of cigarettes and alcohol, current and childhood ADHD, and comorbid internalizing and externalizing psychopathology were assessed in 376 male and female undergraduates.

RESULTS:

Results indicate that current and childhood IN were independently associated with more severe cannabis use, craving, and problem use-related outcomes in young adulthood (p's<.01) and that childhood HI symptoms were associated with earlier initiation of cannabis (p<.01). Further, current IN symptoms moderated the relationships between level of use and more severe outcomes (p's<.01), such that higher IN strengthened positive associations among use and problem cannabis use. Associations with ADHD symptom dimensions and current use of alcohol and cigarettes were also present.

CONCLUSIONS:

Thus, current and childhood inattention symptoms as well as childhood hyperactive-impulsive symptoms emerged as significant factors in cannabis-related outcomes in young adults, even after statistically controlling for important confounding variables.

KEYWORDS:

ADHD; Hyperactivity; Inattention; Substance dependence; Substance use

PMID:
24332802
PMCID:
PMC3904106
DOI:
10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2013.11.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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