Thursday, April 12, 2012

Substance Use Disorder Patients Need Better Screening for ADHD

Better screening procedures for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are needed for patients with substance use disorders. "Considering the high rate of ADHD comorbidity among substance use disorder patients, it is crucial to promote a systematic diagnostic approach to this disorder in specialized addiction-treatment settings," wrote French researchers online April 9 in Current Opinion in Psychiatry.

They found that diagnosing ADHD in substance use disorder patients is challenged by phenomenological aspects of addiction and frequently by other psychiatric disorders that overlap with symptoms of ADHD. A comprehensive search for child and adult symptoms including the temporal relationship of ADHD, substance use, and other psychiatric disorders should maximize the validity and reliability of adult ADHD diagnosis in this population. Further, the researchers said, a follow-up evaluation of ADHD symptoms during treatment of a substance use disorder may reduce the likelihood of misdiagnosis.

Comorbid psychiatric conditions are common in adults with ADHD, but clinicians may diagnose those other conditions, yet overlook the ADHD. Read more about it in Psychiatric News, here. For an in-depth review of how ADHD is complicated by other psychiatric conditions, see American Psychiatric Publishing's ADHD Comorbidities: Handbook for ADHD Complications in Children and Adults.

(Image: kentoh/


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