#AA Autism & Substance Use Disorder


nothing about us without us
Who: Isenberg and colleagues
Journal: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Published: 18 Jan 2021
Title: Psychiatric comorbidity associated with co-occuring autism spectrum disorder and substance use disorder
This study wanted to look at whether any co-occuring conditions made autistic people more likely to develop Substance Use Disorders (SUD; addiction).

They completed lots of interveiws with autistic adults who had been seen as psychiatric outpaitents at a university hospital.

They found that autists with Conduct Disorder (CD) were more likely to have SUD. They didn’t find a relationship between any other commonly co-occuring condition (e.g. ADHD) and SUD. They considered that autists with CD might have hightened sensitivity to rewards, leading them to develop SUD.

Their participants had developed CD many years before SUD. They concluded that screening autists with CD for SUD could help them to access earlier intervention for SUD.
Thinking critically:
Why were those with CD more likely to develop SUD?

Which environmental factors, such as previous trauma, might have impacted how and why autists develop SUD?

Do typical interventions for SUD work as effectively for autists as neurotypical people? Do autists with SUD required specially adapted intervention?

These individuals were already seeking outpaitent support. Are there differences in SUD development for autists without this support?

Leave a Reply