Half of adults aged 20-39 years with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) suffer from substance use disorder (SUD) throughout their lives, according to a new study published online before printing this month. Alcohol and alcoholism.. This is significantly higher than 23.6% of young adults without ADHD who have a lifetime substance use disorder.
Even after considering factors such as age, race, income, and education Adversity as a child And others Mental illness, Young adults with ADHD could still be 69% higher Substance Use Disorder When compared to peers without ADHD.
Managing the lifelong history of mental illness and childhood adversity has caused the greatest decline in ADHD-SUD relationships. More than a quarter (27%) of people with ADHD had a history of depression, much higher than the prevalence of people without ADHD (11%).
“These results underscore the importance of coping with depression and anxiety in providing care to people with simultaneous ADHD and SUD,” said Factor Inwentash, University of Toronto. Esme Fuller-Thomson, a professor of the Faculty of Social Welfare and director of the Institute, reported. For life course and aging. “People with untreated depression and anxiety may self-medicate to manage the symptoms of untreated mental illness, which may result in increased use of the substance. ”
Patients with ADHD also experienced high levels of adversity childhood experiences, reporting that more than one-third (35%) of young adults were physically abused, and one in nine was sexually abused. Reported to have been a victim of (11%). 16 years old.
A strong link between child adversity and substance use disorder has also been found in previous studies.
“Child abuse disrupts children’s emotional regulation and neurodevelopment and predisposes them to later developing drug addiction,” said co-author Daniel Lewis, a graduate of the University of Toronto’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program. There is a possibility. “
Alcohol use disorders were the most common substance abuse disorder (36%) among young adults with ADHD, followed by cannabis use disorders (23%). Young adults with ADHD were three times more likely to experience illicit drug disorders (other than cannabis) than their classmates without ADHD (18% vs. 5%).
“One of the potential explanations for the very high rates of illicit substance use in ADHD patients is the acceleration of the gateway hypothesis,” said co-author, a recent graduate of the University of Toronto MSW, a social worker at the University Health Network. Senyo Agbeyaka said. “This theory assumes that people with ADHD tend to begin substance use at a young age, leading to more dangerous use and greater problem severity in adulthood.”
Data were extracted from the Canadian Community Health Survey-Mental Health. This is a national representative sample of 270 respondents aged 20-39 with ADHD and 6,602 without ADHD.
Our findings are Young adult With ADHD. “It is clear that we need to develop preventative and therapeutic programs to promote and address mental health while addressing the problem of drug use in ADHD patients. childhood Adversity. ”
Esme Fuller-Thomson et al, Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder and Alcohol and Other Substance Use Disorders in Young Adults: Results from the National Canadian Survey, Alcohol and alcoholism (2021). DOI: 10.1093 / alcalc / agab048
University of Toronto
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