How is ADHD treated in adults ?

If ADHD is suspected in adults the person should be referred to a specialist in adult mental health for a formal diagnosis and treatment plan. Treatments include both pharmacological treatments such as methylphenidate, dexamphetamine or atomoxetine; and psychological interventions such as psychoeducation and cognitive behavioural therapy targeted at the problems commonly associated with ADHD. Drug treatment for ADHD should always form part of a comprehensive treatment programme that addresses psychological, behavioural and educational or occupational needs. Children who have been diagnosed with ADHD should be offered treatment throughout the critical period from adolescence into adulthood so that complications of ADHD like substance abuse, antisocial behaviour, depression and anxiety can be prevented.

Ford, T., Goodman, R. & Meltzer, H. (2003) The British Child and Adolescent Mental Health Survey 1999: the prevalence of DSM-IV disorders. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry, 42, 1203-1211.

Simon, V., Czobor, P., Balint, S., et al (2009) Prevalence and correlates of adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: meta-analysis. Br J Psychiatry, 194, 204-211.