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Listen to “ADHD and Substance Use Disorders: How to Recognize and Manage Addiction” with Timothy Wilens, M.D.

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Follow ADDitude’s ADHD Experts podcast on Apple Podcasts | Stitcher

View the slide presentation that accompanied the original broadcast of this live webinar.


Many experts believe that ADHD is a risk factor for substance abuse disorder (SUD). An estimated 15 and 25 percent of adults with a lifetime history of SUD also have ADHD. So how is SUD linked to ADHD? The short answer is we aren’t sure.

The longer answer is that a variety of factors play a role in the connection — everything from genetics to the dopamine receptors in the ADHD brain. One thing we do know is that ADHD is also associated with a higher risk of smoking at an earlier age and that smokers with ADHD are less likely to break the habit. Understanding the high correlation between ADHD and SUDs, as well as the catastrophic effects SUDs have on an individual and family, are key in helping doctors prevent addiction in individuals with attention deficit.

In this episode, learn:

  • How dopamine in the ADHD brain may play a role in SUDs
  • The role of stimulants in impacting a patient’s chances of developing an SUD
  • Best treatments for adults managing SUD
  • Best treatments for adolescents who diagnosed with SUD
  • What actions doctors can take to reduce adolescents’ chances of developing SUD

Recommended resources:

Listener testimonials:

  • “Incredible information. I guess it is mostly aimed at professionals. I’d like to hear the same presentation made for parents. Summaries and overall descriptions were super-helpful. For us ‘earth mothers’ who have resisted medications, this is truly eye-opening, and will cause some soul-searching.”
  • “This was helpful. The slides are a little technical for the average person. While they were summarized well, they were hard to follow for someone who has not looked at such technical graphs since college.”
  • “Excellent informative seminar! Doctor’s research very good and helpful. Moderator’s questions and follow up questions very concise.”

Listen in and tell us what you think in the comments. If you’re interested in advertising in ADDitude’s ADHD Experts podcast, write to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

How Do I Listen?

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From your phone or tablet:

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From a desktop or laptop:

Click the “play” button at the top of the page to start the episode. Keep that window or tab open on your browser while you listen, or the podcast episode will stop playing.

Note on audio quality: This podcast is a recording of a webinar series, and the audio has been captured from telephone conversations, not recorded in a studio. Register to participate in the live webinars at: www.additude.com/webinars/


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