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Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, risky substance use and substance use disorders: a follow-up study among young men

  • Natalia Estévez-LamorteEmail author
  • Simon Foster
  • Dominique Eich-Höchli
  • Franz Moggi
  • Gerhard Gmel
  • Meichun Mohler-Kuo
Original Paper
  • 96 Downloads

Abstract

We investigated whether adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) predicts risky substance use and substance use disorders (SUDs), and its impact on the course of these problematic substance use patterns. Our sample included 4975 Swiss men (mean age 20 ± 1.2 years) who participated in the baseline and 15-month follow-up assessments of the Cohort Study on Substance Use Risk Factors. We examined: (1) the contribution of ADHD, as assessed at baseline, on the risky use of alcohol, nicotine and cannabis, and their corresponding use disorders (AUD, NUD, CUD) at follow-up; and (2) the association between ADHD and the course of outcomes (i.e., absence, initiation, maturing out, persistence) over 15 months. All analyses were adjusted for socio-demographics and co-morbidity. Men with ADHD were more likely to exhibit persistent risky alcohol and nicotine use, and to mature out of risky cannabis use. ADHD at baseline was positively linked to AUD and negatively to CUD at follow-up, but not to NUD. For all SUDs, ADHD had a positive association with use persistence and maturing out. Comparing these two trajectories revealed that early age of alcohol use initiation distinguished between persistence and maturing out of AUD, while the course of NUD and CUD was related to ADHD symptoms and SUD severity at baseline. Already in their early twenties, men with ADHD are especially likely to exhibit persistent problematic substance use patterns. Substance-specific prevention strategies, particularly implemented before early adulthood, may be crucial to reducing the development and persistence of pathological patterns in such individuals.

Keywords

Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder Risky substance use Substance use disorder Alcohol Nicotine Cannabis 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank Joseph Studer, Charlotte Eidenbenz and Laura Werlen for their valuable input. This study has been supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant number: 33CS30_139467) and by the Hartmann Müller-Foundation (grant number: 1708).

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical standards

The authors assert that all procedures contributing to this work comply with the ethical standards of the relevant national and institutional committees on human experimentation and have, therefore, been performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki 1964 and its later amendments. All participants gave their informed consent prior to their inclusion in the study.

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there are no conflicts of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.La Source, School of Nursing SciencesUniversity of Applied Sciences and Arts, Western SwitzerlandLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital of Psychiatry ZurichUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  3. 3.Swiss Research Institute for Public Health and AddictionZurichSwitzerland
  4. 4.Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention InstituteZurichSwitzerland
  5. 5.University Hospital of Psychiatry ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  6. 6.University Hospital of PsychiatryUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  7. 7.Alcohol Treatment CentreLausanne University Hospital CHUVLausanneSwitzerland
  8. 8.Addiction SwitzerlandLausanneSwitzerland
  9. 9.Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  10. 10.University of the West of EnglandBristolUK

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