Substance and Alcohol Misuse, Drug Pathways, and Offending Behaviors in Association With ADHD in Prison Inmates

Susan Young*, Rafael A. González, Kim Wolff, Kiriakos Xenitidis, Laura Mutch, Isabella Malet-Lambert, Gisli H. Gudjonsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: The objective of the study is to quantify the extent of specific polysubstance use, drug transitions to current substances, and describe the association with alcohol use disorders among inmates with ADHD. We also examined health risk behaviors and patterns of offending in relation with ADHD. Method: A total of 387 male British prison inmates were screened and interviewed via the Diagnostic Interview for ADHD in Adults 2.0 (DIVA-2). Results: Male prisoners with ADHD endorse more methadone and amphetamine use. There was a significantly higher linear trend among those with ADHD for the number of substances ever used. ADHD was positively associated with increasing levels of alcohol use disorder severity, and with alcohol dependence. Transition along the pathways of substance misuse and persistence of drug misuse was better explained by the presence of conduct disorder/antisocial personality traits. Conclusion: Higher rates of alcohol dependence and stimulant–cocaine misuse suggest these inmates have maladaptive coping mechanisms, such as self-medication behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1905-1913
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Volume24
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • alcohol dependence
  • antisocial personality
  • prison
  • self-medication

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