Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Facilitating Alcohol and Drug Abuse in an Adult
R. Durst, P. Rebaudengo-Rosca
Talbieh Mental Health Center, Jerusalem (Affiliated with the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School)
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been considered a mental and behavioral disorder of childhood and adolescence. It is being increasingly recognized in adults, who may have psychiatric co-morbidity with secondary depression, or a tendency to drug and alcohol abuse. We describe a 32-year-old woman known for years as suffering from borderline personality disorder and drug dependence (including hasshish, marijuana, LSD and "exstasy'") and alcohol abuse that did not respond to treatment. Only when correctly diagnosed as ADHD and appropriately treated with the psychotropic stimulant, methylphenidate (Ritalin), was there significant improvement. She succeeded academically, which had not been possible previously, the craving for drugs diminished and a drug-free state was reached. Although administration of psychostimulants to drug abusers is controversial, as they are addictive, in cases of ADHD they have promoted drug abstinence.