A growing body of research has established a high co-morbidity in the rates of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and substance abuse. The co-occurrence of these two conditions and the negative impact of untreated ADHD on the course and treatment of substance abuse highlights the need for ADHD assessment in individuals seeking substance abuse treatment. In this article, we investigated the clinical utility of the Attention Deficit Scales for Adults (ADSA) in a sample of substance abusers in an outpatient treatment program by assessing its sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, and likelihood ratios at two potential cut-off levels (161 and 181) using a DSM-IV based ADHD diagnosis as the criterion. The ADSA had strong reliability (Cronbach's alpha.93; Guttman split-half.92) and correlated well with DSM-IV diagnostic criteria. Sensitivity and specificity of the device were relatively strong at both cut-off levels, as were the positive and negative predictive values.
- Substance abusers