Background and objectives: Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is frequent in patients with substance use disorders (SUD), but information on its prevalence in high-dose benzodiazepine (BZD) dependence is lacking. We estimated the prevalence of adult ADHD in a group of treatment-seeking high-dose BZD dependent patients according to a valid screening tool, and explored the demographic and clinical characteristics of patients that screened positive for ADHD (ADHD+) in comparison to those that screened negative (ADHD-).
Methods: We prospectively recruited 167 consecutive patients with high-dose BZD dependence and screened them for adult ADHD with the World Health Organization Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale version 1.1 (ASRS-v1.1) Symptom Checklist Part A. We compared demographic and clinical characteristics in ADHD+ and ADHD- groups.
Results: Fifty-three patients (31.7% of the sample) were positive to adult ADHD screening. ADHD+ patients showed a significantly larger prevalence of poly-drug abuse than ADHD- ones. BZD formulation and active principle significantly differed between the two groups. The other clinical variables, including psychiatric comorbidity, as well as the demographic ones, did not differ in ADHD+ versus ADHD- comparison.
Discussion and conclusions: Adult ADHD may be common in treatment-seeking high-dose BZD dependent patients according to ASRS-v1.1 Symptom Checklist Part A.
Scientific significance: Screening for ADHD in this type of SUD with this questionnaire is quick and may offer useful information for prognosis and treatment. (Am J Addict 2017;26:610-614).
© 2017 American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.