Relationship of ADHD, depression, and non-tobacco substance use disorders to nicotine dependence in substance-dependent delinquents

Drug Alcohol Depend. 1999 May 3;54(3):195-205. doi: 10.1016/s0376-8716(98)00155-0.


This study used standardized interviews to examine the relationship of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), major depression (MDD), and other illicit substance use disorders (SUD) to onset and severity of nicotine dependence in 82 female and 285 male adolescents with conduct disorder (CD) and SUD. Results indicate that both ADHD and MDD significantly contribute to severity of nicotine dependence in delinquents with SUD. ADHD is further associated with earlier onset of regular smoking in males. Severity of non-tobacco SUD also was related directly to nicotine dependence severity in both males and females, and to earlier onset of smoking in males. Our findings illuminate the contribution of comorbidity to nicotine dependence and its relationship to other SUD severity among adolescents with CD and SUD and highlight the need for coordinated assessment and treatment of smoking cessation along with concurrent treatment of other drug use and psychiatric comorbidity such as ADHD and MDD in such youths.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / complications*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Conduct Disorder / complications*
  • Conduct Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / complications*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sex Factors
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / etiology*