Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a childhood mental health disorder that can lead to alcohol and other drug (AOD)-related problems if it persists into adolescence and adulthood. Several findings suggest that ADHD contributes to the development of AOD use disorders. ADHD generally precedes alcohol use and is correlated with developmentally inappropriate levels of alcohol use or abuse; conduct problems typically precede the development of alcohol use or abuse. The potential role of ADHD in the development of AOD use problems has important implications for prevention and treatment of such problems. For example, people with ADHD have poor outcomes from AOD abuse treatment. Service providers who work in AOD abuse treatment settings must develop the diagnostic and clinical expertise to address cooccurring ADHD and AOD use disorders.
KEY WORDS: attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity; alcohol and other drug dependence; alcoholic beverage; comorbidity; impulsive behavior; symptom; early AODU (alcohol and other drug use) onset, conduct disorder; diagnostic criteria; causal pathways; predictive factor; treatment outcome; correlation analysis; literature review