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Diagnosing ADHD among Substance Abusers

By Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on July 26, 2006

Researchers report an inexpensive, readably available screening tool is helpful in determining Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) among substance abusers and alcoholics. Although ADHD is treatable, diagnosing the disorder among adult substance abusers has been difficult and expensive.

ADHD is a major learning disability among both children and adults. ADHD is especially common among drug users and alcoholics and increases the severity of their addiction problems. The tool, originally designed for the general population will facilitate improved care and treatment aiding individual recovery from addiction.

Charles Cleland and his colleagues at National Development and Research Institutes in New York City found that a screening test originally developed for the general population the Conners Adult ADHD Rating Scale (CAARS) – also works well to identify ADHD symptoms among substance users.

The CAARS is an effective, simple and inexpensive way to screen adult substance users for ADHD, so that they can be referred for confirmatory diagnosis and possible ADHD treatment.

Stephen Magura, the Principal Investigator of the study, remarks: Although more research is needed, our study shows that better screening of substance users for ADHD is possible, with the payoff that ADHD will be treated and recovery from addiction will be facilitated.

Source: National Development & Research Institutes

 

APA Reference
Nauert, R. (2006). Diagnosing ADHD among Substance Abusers. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/news/2006/07/26/diagnosing-adhd-among-substance-abusers/129.html