Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a significant risk factor for developing substance use disorders and cigarette smoking in both boys and girls, new research indicates.
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston analyzed data on about 500 boys and girls both with and without ADHD who were followed over 10 years, into young adulthood. They found that ADHD was a significant risk factor for any substance use disorder and cigarette smoking.
UPI reports the researchers found that among those with ADHD, 32 percent developed some type of substance abuse during the 10-year period, compared with 25 percent of those without ADHD. The study also found that having conduct disorder and ADHD tripled the risk of substance use disorders. “Anyone with ADHD needs to be counseled about the risk for substance abuse, particularly if they have any delinquency,” lead researcher Timothy Wilens, MD said in a press release.
The study is published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.