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Browsing by Author "Majonen, Tiina"

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  • Majonen, Tiina (2017)
    Objectives. Substance use disorders (SUD) cause significant personal and social harm worldwide. They have been found to be fairly hereditable but different personal and environmental factors influence the development of SUD. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder has been recognized as a risk for SUD in previous studies. ADHD is one of the most common childhood developmental disorders and it causes significant problems of attention and activity. ADHD is most common in childhood but for some the symptoms continue to cause harm in adolescence and adulthood. Childhood ADHD is known to increase the risk of developing SUD particularly in adolescence and it especially increases the risk of abusing illegal drugs. Adult ADHD has also been found to increase the risk of simultaneous SUD. In many longitudinal studies ADHD symptoms have been assessed in school aged children and the studies have failed to follow the participants past adolescence. This study used ADHD symptoms assessed before school age to predict SUD in about 25-year-old participants and ADHD symptoms assessed in adulthood to predict simultaneous SUD. In addition, gender and the specific role of inattention and hyperactivity symptoms in risk of developing SUD were considered. Method. Participants of the current study were part of Arvo Ylppö Longitudinal Study (AYLS) which collected data from prenatal and early childhood development to assess the influence of different factors in health in adulthood. Two samples were used in this study, the sample used to assess childhood ADHD symptoms in development of SUD consisted of 433 participants and the sample used to assess adult ADHD symptoms in predicting SUD consisted of 706 participants. Childhood ADHD symptoms were measured at the age of 56 months by parent-assessment, data of adult ADHD symptoms was collected by self-assessment and SUD was assessed by structured interview. ADHD symptoms were considered as a continuous variable that represented the number of symptoms. The relationship of ADHD symptoms and SUD was assessed using logistic regression. Results and conclusions. Childhood or adulthood ADHD symptoms did not predict SUD. Inattention and hyperactivity symptoms assessed separately did not increase the risk of SUD. It is possible that ADHD is a significant risk factor in development of SUD mainly for individuals who experience considerable harm due to their symptoms, while the number of symptoms does not increase the risk by itself.