Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in cocaine-dependent adults: a psychiatric comorbidity analysis

Am J Addict. 2013 Sep-Oct;22(5):466-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1521-0391.2013.12047.x. Epub 2013 May 15.


Background and objectives: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is highly prevalent among drug abusers. We studied the psychiatric comorbidity and characteristics of cocaine use in relation to the presence of ADHD among patients with cocaine dependence.

Methods: A total of 200 cocaine-dependent patients attending an Outpatient Drug Clinic participated in the study. A systematic evaluation of ADHD (CAADID-II), the severity of addiction (EuropASI) and other axes I and II psychiatric disorders was made (SCID-I and SCID-II). A descriptive, bivariate, and multivariate analysis of the data was performed.

Results: In the multivariate analysis, the identified risk factors for the development of ADHD were a history of behavioral disorder in childhood (OR: 3.04), a lifetime history of cannabis dependence in the course of life (OR: 2.68), and age at the start of treatment (OR: 1.08). The bivariate analysis showed ADHD to be associated with other factors such as male gender, age at start of cocaine use and dependence, the amount of cocaine consumed weekly, increased occupational alteration, alcohol consumption, general psychological discomfort, depressive disorder, and antisocial personality disorder.

Conclusions and scientific significance: We conclude that ADHD is associated with increased psychiatric comorbidity and greater severity of addiction.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / etiology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / etiology
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Male
  • Marijuana Abuse / epidemiology
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors