Cigarette and cannabis use trajectories among adolescents in treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and substance use disorders

Kevin M. Gray, Paula D. Riggs, Sung Joon Min, Susan K. Mikulich-Gilbertson, Dipankar Bandyopadhyay, Theresa Winhusen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Cigarette smoking is common in adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and substance use disorders (SUD). However, little is known about the relationship between cigarette and cannabis use trajectories in the context of treatment for both ADHD and SUD. To address this research gap, we report collateral analyses from a 16-week randomized, controlled trial (n= 303) of osmotic-release methylphenidate (OROS-MPH) in adolescents with ADHD concurrently receiving cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) targeting non-nicotine SUD. Methods: Participants completed cigarette and cannabis use self-report at baseline and throughout treatment. Analyses were performed to explore the relationships between cigarette smoking, cannabis use, and other factors, such as medication treatment assignment (OROS-MPH versus placebo). Results: Baseline (pre-treatment) cigarette smoking was positively correlated with cannabis use. Negligible decline in cigarette smoking during treatment for non-nicotine SUD was observed in both medication groups. Regular cigarette and cannabis users at baseline who reduced their cannabis use by >50% also reduced cigarette smoking (from 10.8 ± 1.1 to 6.2 ± 1.1 cigarettes per day). Conclusions: Findings highlight the challenging nature of concurrent cannabis and cigarette use in adolescents with ADHD, but demonstrate that changes in use of these substances during treatment may occur in parallel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-247
Number of pages6
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this study was provided by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Clinical Trials Network (Study 0028, PI: Riggs) and NIDA grant R01DA026777 (PI: Gray). NIDA had no further role in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the paper for publication.


  • ADHD
  • Adolescent
  • Cannabis
  • Cigarette
  • Marijuana
  • Methylphenidate
  • Nicotine
  • Smoking
  • Tobacco
  • Treatment


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