Research conducted by Groningen PhD candidate Katelijne van Emmerik-van Oortmerssen calls for addiction treatment centres to evaluate patients to determine if they had ADHD.
Translation by Traci White
Based on a combination of existing research and new research, Van Emmerik-Van Oortmerssen determined that ADHD is common among drug addicts: her research states that as many as one in five addicts may have ADHD.
Addicts who have ADHD were also found to be likelier to have psychiatric problems. Van Emmerik-Van Oortmerssen, who will defend her research on 20 June, recommends that addicts should always be screened for ADHD, and that screening procedures keep in mind that personality and behaviour disorders are more common with people with the condition.
The Groninger Internet Courant reports that Van Emmerik-Van Oortmerssen developed an integrated treatment based on cognitive and behavioural therapy for people with addiction and with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The integrated approach included helping patients with developing their planning skills.
The Groningen PhD candidate and psychiatrist-in-training compared the outcomes of traditional treatment to the integrated approach. While traditional treatment was equally effective in treating addiction, the integrated approach was more effective in treating ADHD without medication.
Photo source: Benjamin Vincent Kasapoglu
Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that the research asserted that one in five people with addition have ADHD. That has been corrected to state that up to one in five addicts may have ADHD.