Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder has been associated with poor outcome in studies of substance use disorders. This study aimed to assess the course of self-reported symptoms of both attention deficit and hyperactivity among adults presenting for treatment for substance use disorders. A sample of 75 substance abusers were assessed after they were admitted to a centralized intake unit, and followed at 3 and 6 months after intake by independent interviewers (follow-up rate 81%). Symptoms of attention deficit and hyperactivity were assessed with the Adult Self-report Scale for ADHD (ASRS). Both types of symptoms declined significantly during follow-up, but attention symptoms had a high intraclass correlation (0.79), and hyperactivity had a moderate intraclass correlation (0.64). Both baseline attention deficit and hyperactivity symptoms were associated with worse work and social adjustment after controlling for baseline functioning. Hyperactivity was associated with poorer substance use outcomes at the trend level. In conclusion, both dimensions of ADHD contribute to worse functioning during early treatment for substance abusers, and the ASRS is a reasonably stable measure of ADHD symptoms during early recovery.
Addictive Behaviors, 2010, Vol 35, Issue 5, p. 504-506