Research Mentor Name

Mark Greenwald

Research Mentor Email Address

Institution / Department

Wayne State University, Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences

Document Type

Research Abstract

Research Type


Level of Research



Background: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is highly prevalent and associated with opioid use disorder (OUD). Yet, little is known about the mechanisms by which ADHD (which is a heterogeneous construct/diagnosis) might alter the trajectory of OUD outcomes.

Aim: This cross-sectional study examines relationships between childhood ADHD (inferred as predating substance use) and the extent to which the effects of ADHD on lifetime heroin-use consequences are mediated by foreshortened time perspective and drug-use impulsivity.

Methods: Individuals who report heroin use (N=214) were screened using the Assessment of Hyperactivity and Attention (AHA), Impulsive Relapse Questionnaire (IRQ), Stanford Time Perception Inventory (STPI), and a comprehensive assessment of lifetime and current substance use and substance-related consequences.

Results: Relative to participants whose AHA scores did not meet criteria for lifetime ADHD diagnosis (n=88), those with persistent ADHD (childhood and adult, n=62) endorsed significantly more total lifetime heroin-use consequences despite comparable heroin-use severity. Likewise, there was a significant indirect effect of the combined ADHD subtype in childhood on lifetime heroin-use consequences. This effect was mediated by STPI scores indicating less future (and more hedonism in the present) temporal perspective and by IRQ scores indicating less capacity for delaying drug use.

Conclusion: The combined ADHD subtype in childhood is significantly associated with lifetime heroin-use consequences, and this effect is mediated through higher drug-use impulsivity (less capacity for delay) and lower future temporal perspective.

Keywords: ADHD; heroin; opioid use disorder; impulsivity; time perspective


Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Clinical Epidemiology | Clinical Psychology | Health Psychology | Medicine and Health Sciences | Mental Disorders | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Substance Abuse and Addiction