Substance use disorders

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has commonly been described in several psychiatric disorders. The multifactorial causation of ADHD is consistent with the disorder’s heterogeneity as seen in its extensive psychiatric comorbidity, multiple domains of neurocognitive impairments and a wide range of structural and functional brain anomalies.

ADHD is a highly comorbid disorder in patients with substance use disorders (SUD)

A meta-analytic review of the literature showed a prevalence of ADHD in adolescent and adult SUD patients of 23%. In an international multicenter study, the IASP study, the overall prevalence of adult ADHD in treatment seeking SUD patients was still as high as 14%. ADHD subjects have been described to be prone to earlier onset of substance abuse, larger number of substance dependence diagnoses and more difficulty to remain in treatment and recover.  The identification of vulnerability factors might promote the development of more specific and effective prevention protocols. Furthermore, given that clinical expression of ADHD generally occurs earlier than the detection of those conditions, ADHD may be an important diagnostic cue for SUD. It is a need to develop and implement early detection programs and treatment in different environments, including paediatric care services, school and family.

A meta-analytic review of the literature showed a prevalence of ADHD in adolescent and adult SUD patients of 23%