ADHD and Addiction

Individuals with ADHD may be struggling with a substance abuse issue as a way to cope with their mental condition. Find out how to locate a treatment program that actively addresses both disorders.

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Moonlight Mountain Recovery

Pocatello, ID

Multiple Levels of Care

866-831-4706

SUWS of the Carolinas

Old Fort, NC

Residential

844-811-2644

Wellness Counseling & Residential Detox

Stuart, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

855-937-0191

Northeast Addiction Treatment Center

Quincy, MA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-831-4406

Amethyst Recovery

Port St. Lucie, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

888-965-6726

Oceanside Malibu

Malibu, CA

Full Spectrum of Care

866-275-3956

New England Recovery & Wellness

Concord, NH

Multiple Levels of Care

844-408-1433

Recovery Unplugged – Austin Detox

Austin, TX

Detox

855-958-1650

Timberline Knolls for Women

Lemont, IL

Multiple Levels of Care

855-200-8406

America’s Rehab Campuses

Tucson, AZ

Multiple Levels of Care

877-484-7367

Wellness Counseling Vida Entera

Lake Elsinore, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-929-2029

JourneyPure – Tennessee

Knoxville, TN

Multiple Levels of Care

(844) 899-9541

United Recovery Project

Hollywood, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

877-586-7043

Lakeland Behavioral Health System

Springfield, MO

Multiple Levels of Care

844-404-1846

Vermilion Behavioral Health Systems

Lafayette, LA

Multiple Levels of Care

888-494-6620

SOBA New Jersey

New Brunswick, NJ

Multiple Levels of Care

888-341-1174

1st Step Behavioral Health

Pompano Beach, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

844-334-8400

White Deer Run

Allenwood, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-638-3697

Bowling Green Brandywine

Kennett Square, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-797-7507

Cross Creek Hospital

Austin, TX

Multiple Levels of Care

844-808-4236

Harbor Oaks Hospital

New Balitmore, MI

Inpatient

866-468-6148

Riverwoods Behavioral Health System

Riverdale, GA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-246-8017

Recovery Unplugged Fort Lauderdale

Fourt Lauderdale, FL

Full Spectrum of Care

855-900-6613

The Harrison House of Northern Virginia

Annandale, VA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-734-4364

Denver Recovery Center

Denver, CO

Multiple Levels of Care

855-729-4891

Recovery Unplugged Austin Rehab Center

Austin, TX

Multiple Levels of Care

844-817-9493

Recovery First Treatment Center – Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

888-603-7860

Recovery First Treatment Center – Hollywood

Hollywood, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

888-603-7860

MeadowWood Behavioral Health

New Castle, DE

Multiple Levels of Care

855-609-4051

Riverwalk Ranch

Mansfield, TX

Multiple Levels of Care

866-634-7479

Mount Regis Center

Salem, VA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-539-2026

Pinnacle Peak Recovery

Scottsdale, AZ

Multiple Levels of Care

844-225-8937

Pocono Mountain Recovery Center

Henryville, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-589-1547

Greenleaf Behavioral Health Hospital

Valdosta, GA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-692-1694

Dana Point Rehab Campus

Dana Point, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-944-2609

Future Now Detox

Palm Springs, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

877-325-0525

Lakeview Behavioral Health Hospital

Norcross, GA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-337-9509

Asana Recovery

Costa Mesa, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-899-6056

Relevance Behavioral Health

Freehold, NJ

Multiple Levels of Care

844-734-3524

Treasure Valley Recovery

Nampa, ID

Multiple Levels of Care

855-248-2193

Oasis Behavioral Health Hospital

Chandler, AZ

Multiple Levels of Care

855-338-0838

Acadiana Treatment Center

Sunset, LA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-548-6273

Recovery Unplugged Lake Worth Detox, Rehab, and Treatment Center

Lake Worth, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

888-283-0199

Understanding ADHD and Substance Abuse

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder that is typically diagnosed during childhood and may last into adulthood. ADHD is typically associated with difficulty paying attention, staying still, coping with boredom and tedious tasks, and controlling impulsive behaviors.

Individuals with ADHD tend to be overly active and have trouble paying attention and controlling impulsive behavior.

Those who have ADHD may be more inclined to use drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with the symptoms that come with this disorder. Others may be prescribed stimulants to treat ADHD and become hooked. Either can lead to a cycle of addiction that is hard to diagnose or treat without professional help.

Approximately 25 percent of adults that go to a treatment center for alcohol and substance abuse also live with ADHD.

There are various treatment programs that focus on addressing both ADHD and addiction simultaneously. Addiction treatment programs for individuals with ADHD emphasize a dual diagnosis approach and utilize various types of therapy to allow for healing and healthy habits to take form.

How Does ADHD Develop?

There are several things that can affect someone’s chance of developing ADHD, including:

  • Genetics

    Heredity is the most common cause of ADHD. Children with ADHD are four times as likely to have a family member also diagnosed with ADHD.

  • Exposure to Toxic Substances

    Researchers have found a connection between mothers who used tobacco products or alcohol during pregnancy and the development of ADHD in their children. Lead exposure has also been linked to hyperactivity.

  • Trauma

    Injury to the brain, a brain tumor, stroke or disease can cause inattention and poor regulation of motor activity and impulses. This is an uncommon cause of ADHD.

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ADHD and Addiction

ADHD can have a negative impact on academic or work performance and may hinder social development. Many people living with ADHD turn to substance abuse as a way to combat these effects. Research has shown that about 21 percent of males with ADHD and 13 percent of females with ADHD abuse drugs or alcohol. People with ADHD may be inclined to abuse drugs or alcohol to make up for the lack of dopamine in their brains, as they have lower levels of the chemical than people who don’t have ADHD.

Treating ADHD and substance abuse can be challenging because the medications used to treat ADHD can also become habit-forming. Stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall are often effective at managing symptoms, but they also have a high potential for abuse. During treatment, it is imperative to monitor both issues at the same time.

I think everybody in the field agrees, if you can get a toehold on the addiction, you should think about treating the ADHD relatively quickly. If you treat ADHD aggressively and you monitor for substance abuse, you’re going to reduce [delinquency].

- Dr. Howard Schubiner, ADHD researcher

A multidimensional approach to treatment can help those living with ADHD and a substance use disorder find long-term healing.

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ADHD Symptoms and Effects

The symptoms and development of ADHD vary from person to person, as some will show symptoms that others lack based on the type of ADHD that is present.

The core characteristics of this disorder fall into three categories:

  • Lack of ability to pay attention or focus
  • Hyperactive behavior or constant physical activity
  • Impulsive behavior

Within these three categories, there are various behavioral patterns that meet the criteria of ADHD:

  • Difficulty finishing tasks
  • Problems listening to others
  • Struggles with organizing projects or responsibilities
  • Forgetfulness
  • Being easily distracted
  • Constant fidgeting
  • Inability to control speech or actions
  • Frequently losing or misplacing personal items

Adults with ADHD often have trouble performing adequately at work. They can feel chronically disorganized and misplace important items needed to complete a task. They also might forget appointments or overlook social commitments. Relationship problems may also develop, as individuals with ADHD are inclined to make offhanded remarks without thinking, or they fail to pay attention to others because they are distracted. These frustrations in life may cause those with ADHD to abuse alcohol or drugs as a way to relax, fit in socially or slow down and escape.

Addiction and ADHD Treatment

Addiction and ADHD can be treated simultaneously through a dual diagnosis program. It’s important to treat both disorders at once, as the cycle of frustration with ADHD can lead to self-medication with alcohol or drugs.

Counseling, family therapy, self-help groups and holistic therapy are the core components of a successful recovery program for individuals with ADHD. A secure and supportive environment is provided in addiction treatment to promote healing while in recovery.

A dual diagnosis program focuses on:

  • Modifying destructive thoughts and behaviors that promote substance abuse
  • Building self-esteem and encouraging internal motivation
  • Controlling the symptoms of ADHD through behavioral modification and medication therapy
  • Identifying substance abuse triggers and learning how to manage impulses
  • Educating partners and family members about ADHD

Dual diagnosis programs assist with managing the symptoms of ADHD and modifying the individual’s responses and triggers while in recovery. This will allow people struggling with ADHD and addiction to live a healthy, functional life, without being dependent on any substance. If you or your loved one has ADHD and is struggling with substance abuse, please contact a dedicated treatment provider for help.

 

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