Relapse among adolescent drug abusers following treatment: The role of probable ADHD status

William W. Latimer, Jenna Ernst, Jodi Hennessey, Randy D. Stinchfield, Ken C. Winters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This is a report on a sample of adolescent drug abusers in treatment (N = 220) to estimate the degree to which probable ADHD status increases the odds of posttreatment alcohol, marijuana, and other drug relapse during the initial 6 months following discharge. Drug abusing youth with probable ADHD status exhibited 2.5 times the risk of posttreatment alcohol relapse when compared to youth without probable ADHD status while controlling for demographics, pretreatment conduct-disordered behavior, pretreatment alcohol use frequency, and treatment factors. A significant crude association between probable ADHD status and other drug relapse was not maintained when adjusted for pretreatment conduct-disordered behavior, pretreatment other drug use frequency, or treatment factors. Different conceptual models are offered to explain substance-specific associations between probable ADHD status and posttreatment relapse. The findings suggest that standard treatment approaches that do not directly address comorbid disorders may result in elevated posttreatment relapse rates among recovering youth with ADHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 11 2004


  • ADHD
  • Adolescence
  • Comorbidity
  • Drug abuse
  • Treatment outcome

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