ADHD and Addiction

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is a neurological disorder associated with not being able to sit or stand still, lack of ability to pay attention for a long time, not being able to cope with boredom, and not completing long tasks. This disorder is usually diagnosed in children but can also be diagnosed in adults.

The Center for Disease Control has stated that 25 percent of all people with substance abuse problems are also living with ADHD. This is an example of dual diagnosis. Many of these adults have never been diagnosed with this disorder until they have sought addiction treatment.

What Causes ADHD?

The onset of ADHD has been associated with the following:

Genetics. A person with ADHD is more than four times more likely to have a parent that had this disorder than not.

Fetal Exposure to Toxins. Mothers who use alcohol, tobacco, or are exposed to lead have a greater chance of having a baby that develops ADHD.

Low Dopamine Levels. It has been shown that when the brain does not produce enough dopamine, the result is hyperactivity.

Brain Trauma. Brain injuries and illnesses that affect the brain, like strokes, can lead to ADHD.

Treatment for ADHD is also a two-sided issue. The most common medications used for this disorder, Ritalin and Adderall, are highly addictive drugs at great risk for abuse. Anyone taking these medications must be closely monitored because of this risk factor.

Addiction and ADHD

Addiction and ADHD

It is not unusual for someone with ADHD to feel like an outsider. The condition can negatively affect how they perform at school or at work, which can lead to them feeling awkward. Many people turn to substance abuse to help quash this feeling and give them a sense of fitting in.

It is not until they enter into an addiction recovery center and receive treatment for both of their conditions that they can begin to function on a level that makes them feel better about themselves and their interactions with others.

Part of the addiction recovery process is addressing things that have led to your addiction. In this dual-diagnosis case, it would be addressing ADHD and how it makes them act and feel. Many doctors prescribe medications for children or adults to reduce the effects of ADHD. Still, they rarely give them the emotional support they need to overcome the other problems associated with the disorder.

Drug Rehab – More Than Just Addiction Treatment

When you enter into drug rehabilitation, your substance abuse counselor will work closely with you to uncover any issues bothering you. These may be physical conditions, mental conditions, or emotional issues. Even the smallest thing can help contribute to addiction.

When you can look at all areas of your life, it is much easier to treat addiction. Many people are shocked to learn that their addiction is a result of another issue. Too many people believe that addiction is just a result of poor judgment. Knowing what has led to your addiction is the best way to overcome that addiction.

When you are in a substance recovery center, you will also learn many things about coping with situations when you leave. Learning how to address situations where you may be triggered is part of the recovery process. This is a crucial step in SMART recovery.

ADHD with addictions

Dual Diagnosis Is Not Unusual

If you are diagnosed with ADHD and addiction, do not think that the world has ended. It is not unusual for a person to suffer from dual conditions when they have an addiction. In fact, it ought to be great news.

Knowing that there are other causes for your addiction, such as a physical disorder like ADHD or a mental condition like depression, will allow you to get help in these areas of your life. You will feel better physically and mentally, and you will be able to face the challenges of recovery with ease.

Recovery is achievable, and that is all that matters. When you enter into a drug rehabilitation program, the goal is to break the addiction and enter into recovery. Getting the help you need to make that happen for other conditions is just a bonus of your treatment plan. In the end, you leave the facility feeling in control and ready for the future.

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