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Review
, 17 (3), 275-282

Critical Exploration of Co-Occurring Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Mood Disorder and Substance Use Disorder

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Review

Critical Exploration of Co-Occurring Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Mood Disorder and Substance Use Disorder

Judith Regnart et al. Expert Rev Pharmacoecon Outcomes Res.

Abstract

Co-occurring disorders (CODs) describe a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) accompanied by a comorbid psychiatric disorder. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and mood disorders are common CODs with high prevalence rates in SUD populations. It is proposed that literature on a tri-condition presentation of ADHD, mood disorder and SUD is limited. Areas covered: A literature search was conducted using a keyword search on EBSCOhost. Initially 2 799 records were identified, however, only two articles included all three conditions occurring concurrently in individuals. CODs constitute a major concern due to their overarching burden on society as a whole. Diagnosis and treatment of such patients is challenging. There is evidence that dysfunction of dopamine in the brain reward circuitry impacts the development or symptomology of all three disorders. Disparity exists regarding whether ADHD or mood disorders are greater modifiers for increased SUD severity. However, it has been reported that poor functional capacity may have a greater influence than comorbidities on SUD development. Expert commentary: Challenges exist which confound the clear distinction of CODs, however, with greater emergence of adult ADHD its screening in SUD populations should become standard practice to establish data on multi-condition presentations with the ultimate goal of improving clinical outcomes.

Keywords: Adults; Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); Substance Use Disorder (SUD); bipolar disorder; co-occurring disorders; dysthymia; major depressive disorder; mood disorder; substance abuse.

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