The diagnostic accuracy of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in adults with substance use disorders

Melina Fatseas, Romain Debrabant, Marc Auriacombe
Current Opinion in Psychiatry. 2012-05-01; 25(3): 219-225
DOI: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e3283523d7c

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1. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2012 May;25(3):219-25. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e3283523d7c.

The diagnostic accuracy of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in adults
with substance use disorders.

Fatseas M(1), Debrabant R, Auriacombe M.

Author information:
(1)Laboratoire de Psychiatrie/CNRS USR 3413 (Sanpsy), Université Bordeaux
Segalen, Bordeaux, France.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Adult attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a
common comorbid condition to substance use disorder (SUD) and is associated with
worse prognosis and quality of life. This review summarizes recent work assessing
ADHD diagnosis reliability in SUD patients and provides arguments to enhance the
accuracy of detecting this disorder.
RECENT FINDINGS: Adequate diagnosis of ADHD in SUD patients is challenged by
phenomenological aspects of addiction and frequently associated other psychiatric
disorders that overlap with key symptoms of ADHD. A detailed comprehensive search
for child and adult symptoms including the temporal relationship of ADHD,
substance use and other psychiatric disorders should maximize the validity and
the reliability of adult ADHD diagnosis in this population. Further, a follow-up
evaluation of ADHD symptoms during treatment of SUD may reduce the likelihood of
SUMMARY: Considering the high rate of ADHD comorbidity among SUD patients, it is
crucial to promote a systematic diagnostic approach to this disorder in
specialized addiction treatment settings. However, overlapping symptoms between
disorders frequently challenge the accuracy of adult ADHD diagnosis. Areas in
need of further investigations include the development of valid screening
procedures, associated neuropsychological factors and effective treatment
strategies for these populations.

DOI: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e3283523d7c
PMID: 22449768 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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