Impulsivity is a personality trait characterised by a predisposition to emit rapid and prepotent action without foresight. Recent developments in the field of neuroscience have high-lighted the multidimensional nature of impulsivity distinguishing among motoric forms of impulsivity (the inability to withhold from making a response), decisional impulsivity (the preference for small, immediate rewards versus larger but delayed rewards) and the inability to keep the attentional focus (sustained attention). Each component is characterized by different neural networks responding to different pharmacological treatments. Moreover, the factor analysis applied on the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS), the self report questionnaire more widely used in the clinical field, has shown the presence of three subscales each corresponding to the three subcomponents of impulsivity. In the present article we will define the three subcomponents of impulsivity, describing the different laboratory paradigms used to assess them and, through an accurate analysis of the scientific literature we will analyse them in the ADHD and in the SUD. We will end with a short list of treatments available in the present cognitive behavioural therapy which can help manage the different forms of im-pulsivity.
Keywords: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Substance Use Disorder (SUD), impulsivity, cognitive behavioral therapy.