Journal Article

    A Clinician’s Guide to Co-occurring ADHD among Adolescent Substance Users: Comorbidity, Neurodevelopmental Risk, and Evidence-based Treatment Options

    Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse

    Published: April 2017


    This article introduces neurodevelopmental and clinical considerations for treating adolescents with co-occurring Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and substance use (ASU) in outpatient settings. We first describe neurobiological impairments common to ADHD and ASU, including comorbidity with conduct disorder, that evoke a profile of multiplicative developmental risk. We then present two evidence-based options for targeting ADHD-related problems during ASU treatment. Medication integration interventions utilize family ADHD psychoeducation to prompt decision-making about ADHD medication and integrate medication management into behavioral services. Clinic-based academic training interventions utilize family interventions to improve the home academic environment and boost organization skills. We conclude with recommendations for ADHD assessment and intervention sequencing.

    J Child Adolesc Subst Abuse. 2017. doi: 10.1080/1067828X.2017.1305930.