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Table 12 Addiction and/or Substance Abuse

From: Comparison of the burden of illness for adults with ADHD across seven countries: a qualitative study

  Addiction and/or Substance Abuse
  Approximately 42 participants reporting (39%)
Canada I guess it developed in high school, and then of course I got into drugs, but I think it’s because I wasn’t able to concentrate. […] And that lasted ’til the end of my 40s, drugs, mental health, all that happened at once, you know? I didn’t want to be in contact with the present reality. And I got many diagnoses for other things before they diagnosed the ADHD.
France You’re too ready to put yourself in danger. For me, putting myself in danger is a way to feel alive, to prove myself. […] You know, driving too fast, taking drugs, addictions, alcohol. It’s also a way of sending out an alert, maybe not consciously, but telling other people, “Something’s wrong with me.”
Germany Yes, addiction is something that comes in all shapes. I must say that I’m quite addictive. I managed my addiction but now I’ve got other things: I bite fingernails for example, I ruined my fingers. I also had that experience that you spoke about, I lost weight I was down to 47 kg because I was running and not eating. Always these extremes, we don’t find a middle-way, we always just oscillate between the highs and the lows.
Italy We cannot evaluate the danger.
The Netherlands I have a subscription at the hospital for having so many accidents and fights, excessive alcohol intake, drugs.
United Kingdom From my perspective I spent my youth, and most of my adulthood, up until the past couple of years, drinking anything I could get my hands on, and drugs but not that much, but I’ve tried everything except heroin. Of course, not surprisingly my favorite was cocaine because it made me feel normal again.
United States I really start to feel like a little Tasmanian devil getting in my way all the time, like kind of self-sabotaging if I’ve got a deadline. […] It doesn’t matter what it is, what addiction it is. I haven’t struggled with drugs. I’ve had some issues with drinking. […] I feel like I’ve not had like one struggle, but I’ve had many that all kind of reflect that same idea of: what can I do to avoid something? And you can feel a little bit impulsive or compulsive, like you know you need to do one thing but I’m going to go on the Internet or get completely immersed in something different.