Childhood depression and addiction risk
Children who suffer from psychiatric disorders such as depression or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at a higher risk of developing addiction later in life, says a study. Researchers from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands found that individuals diagnosed in childhood with ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and depression had an increased risk of developing addictions. “We know that ADHD in childhood increases the risk for later substance-related disorders, but until now no systematic evaluation of other childhood psychiatric disorders had been conducted,” says Annabeth P. Groenman, researcher at the University Medical Center Groningen.
“Our findings show that not only had ADHD increased the risk of addictions, but that other childhood psychiatric disorders also increased risk,” says Groenman, adding, “Addiction is a major cause of immense personal, familial and societal burden, and prevention is therefore an important goal.”
The study re-analysed the data from 37 previous studies involving a total of 762,187 individuals, of whom 22,029 had ADHD, 434 had disruptive behaviour disorders (such as ODD), 1,433 had anxiety disorder and 2,451 had depression.
The researchers identified studies looking at childhood psychiatric disorders and later addiction. Disruptive behaviour disorders (ODD/CD) frequently co-occur with ADHD, in approximately 30% of the cases.
The study was published in the Journal Of The American Academy Of Child And Adolescent Psychiatry.