How Substance Users With ADHD Perceive the Relationship Between Substance Use and Emotional Functioning.


Journal Article

OBJECTIVE: Although substance use (SU) is elevated in ADHD and both are associated with disrupted emotional functioning, little is known about how emotions and SU interact in ADHD. We used a mixed qualitative-quantitative approach to explore this relationship. METHOD: Narrative comments were coded for 67 persistent (50 ADHD, 17 local normative comparison group [LNCG]) and 25 desistent (20 ADHD, 5 LNCG) substance users from the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD (MTA) adult follow-up (21.7-26.7 years-old). RESULTS: SU persisters perceived SU positively affects emotional states and positive emotional effects outweigh negative effects. No ADHD group effects emerged. Qualitative analysis identified perceptions that cannabis enhanced positive mood for ADHD and LNCG SU persisters, and improved negative mood and ADHD for ADHD SU persisters. CONCLUSION: Perceptions about SU broadly and mood do not differentiate ADHD and non-ADHD SU persisters. However, perceptions that cannabis is therapeutic may inform ADHD-related risk for cannabis use.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Mitchell, JT; Weisner, TS; Jensen, PS; Murray, DW; Molina, BSG; Arnold, LE; Hechtman, L; Swanson, JM; Hinshaw, SP; Victor, EC; Kollins, SH; Wells, KC; Belendiuk, KA; Blonde, A; Nguyen, C; Ambriz, L; Nguyen, JL

Published Date

  • July 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 22 / 9_suppl

Start / End Page

  • 49S - 60S

PubMed ID

  • 28166690

Pubmed Central ID

  • 28166690

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1557-1246

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/1087054716685842


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States