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Children with ADHD at Higher Risk for Alcohol-Related Problems

A joint study between the Universities of Pittsburgh and California-Berkley has found that children with ADHD are more likely to develop problems with alcohol abuse and addiction. Reasons for the increased risk include a higher tendency towards impulsive behavior, school failure, and family history.
"One of the reasons that children with ADHD might be at risk for alcohol problems is that alcoholism and ADHD tend to run together in families,' said [Brooke] Molina. 'We found that parental alcoholism predicted heavy problem drinking among the teenagers, that the association was partly explained by higher rates of stress in these families, and these connections were stronger when the adolescent had ADHD in childhood."
The study found that 15-to17-year olds with ADHD reported being drunk 14 times in the previous year, while a group who was the same age but didn't have ADHD only reported being drunk 1.8 times in the previous year. Read more at About.com.

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Labels: substance_abuse, alcohol, alcoholism

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Attention Deficit Disorder in Kids Linked to Alcoholism in Teens

Children with Attention Deficit Disorder/Hyperactivity are at risk for alcoholism or drug dependence as teens and adults, according to a new study by the University of Pittsburgh. If their parents are alcoholics, the likelihood increases even more.

Dr. Brooke Molina and her colleagues interviewed 142 adolescents diagnosed with childhood ADHD and 100 demographically matched others without the disorder. The team also interviewed another group of 364 children with ADHD as adolescents ages 11 to 17 years and then again as young adults ages 18 to 28.

Their two studies showed a link between ADHD and alcoholism.
"Alcoholism and ADHD tend to run together in families," Dr. Molina said. "We found that parental alcoholism predicted heavy problem drinking among teenagers, that the association was partly explained by higher rates of stress in those families, and these connections were stronger when the adolescent had ADHD in childhood."
About 14% of the 15 to 17-year-old adolescents with childhood ADHD were diagnosed with alcohol abuse or dependence compared to none of the 15 to 17-year-olds in the control group without ADHD. The ADHD group reported being drunk 14 times the previous year compared to 1.8 times in the control group.

"It is important to recognize that not all children with ADHD will have problems with alcoholism" Dr. Molina said.

This study appears in the April 2007 issue of
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
.

Labels: genetics, alcohol, alcoholism

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