Adult ADHD and substance abuse: diagnostic and treatment issues

Subst Use Misuse. 2005;40(13-14):1955-81, 2043-8. doi: 10.1080/10826080500294858.


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral, developmental disorder most often diagnosed during childhood, marked by the core symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that results in social, academic, and occupational underachievement. Although the disorder has a prevalence of 3-9% in the general childhood population and 1-5% in the general adult population, it affects between 11 and 35% of "substance-abusing" adults, oftentimes complicating treatment response. The present review discusses diagnostic assessment issues, prevalence, comorbidity, pharmacotherapy, and psychological interventions in substance-abusing adults with ADHD.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / therapy*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prevalence
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires