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Am J Addict. 1998 Spring;7(2):156-63.

Does ADHD affect the course of substance abuse? Findings from a sample of adults with and without ADHD.

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Pediatric Psychopharmacology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114, USA.


The authors examined the effects of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and psychiatric comorbidity on recovery from psychoactive substance use disorder (PSUD) with 130 referred adults with ADHD and 71 non-ADHD adults, all of whom had a lifetime history of PSUD. Although PSUD remitted in 80% of both groups, the rate of remission and duration of PSUD was quite different in the ADHD vs. non-ADHD subjects. The duration of PSUD was 37.2 months longer in the ADHD than in non-ADHD subjects. The median time to PSUD remission was more than twice as long in ADHD than in control subjects (144 vs. 60 months, respectively). ADHD is associated with a longer, duration of PSUD and a significantly slower remission rate. If confirmed, such findings extend previous work showing that ADHD is a risk factor for early initiation and specific pathways of PSUD, providing further evidence of the relevance of this association.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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