ADHD and Addiction Rehabs in WV

Over the past several decades, doctors and scientists have learned more and more about the brain and how it works. They’ve also learned that ADD and ADHD diagnoses have been on the rise. Formally known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD is a neurological disorder that is often diagnosed in children at an early age. While some kids might “age out” of the disorder, many people continue to suffer from it well into adulthood. In fact, many adults suffer from ADHD and addiction.

Many people get formally diagnosed and are prescribed ADHD medication. Some people let it go untreated and choose the path of self-medication. This can lead to addiction. 

Even those who do get formally diagnosed by a doctor and are medically prescribed a medication to help treat their ADHD run the risk of developing an addiction as well. It’s that correlation between ADHD and addiction that can result in the need for dual diagnosis treatment at Harmony Ridge.

What is ADHD?

Before we dive into the connection between ADHD and substance abuse, it is first important to understand exactly what ADHD is. As mentioned above, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a neurological disorder that is commonly found and diagnosed in children. In fact, it is the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorder in children with almost 11% of all children 17 years old and younger having been diagnosed with ADHD.

ADHD and Addiction Rehabs

What Are Some of the Symptoms of ADHD?

Because ADHD is typically diagnosed in children, it can sometimes be difficult for a parent to tell if his or her child is suffering from ADHD or if he or she is only just displaying some characteristics associated with childhood. 

There are three common types of ADHD, all with their own set of symptoms. They are inattentive type, hyperactive/impulsive type, or combined type. Here are some of the symptoms associated with all three types:

Inattentive ADHD 

  • Has trouble focusing or staying focused on tasks or activities
  • Avoids or dislikes doing things that require sustained mental effort
  • Doesn’t pay attention to details leading to careless mistakes being made
  • Does not listen when spoken to
  • Doesn’t follow through on basic instructions
  • Easily distracted
  • Constantly losing or misplacing everyday items
  • Forgets to do things such as chores or errands

Hyperactive/Impulsive ADHD

  • Runs or climbs on things at inappropriate times
  • Unable to stay seated for long periods of time
  • Is constantly fidgety
  • Always moving
  • Talks too much
  • Has difficulty waiting for things
  • Interrupts others

Is Substance Abuse More Common In Those People Who Suffer from ADHD?

ADHD is a neurological disorder. Studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between those suffering from ADHD and substance abuse of some sort. In fact, an adult suffering from ADHD is significantly more likely to develop an alcohol-related issue than someone not suffering from ADHD. Additionally, it is far more common for children with ADHD to begin experimenting with and abusing alcohol and drugs at a younger age than children who don’t have ADHD. 

The reason behind this is that people who suffer from ADHD, especially children, tend to be more impulsive. They also have behavior issues related to their disorder. As a result, they might be more likely to try illicit substances at a young age. 

Stimulants are often used to treat those who suffer from ADHD. If taken in ways other than medically directed or abused, this can also lead to an increased risk of the development of a substance abuse issue.

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What About Those Who Choose To Self Medicate?

For one reason or another, not everyone who has ADHD is formally diagnosed with the condition by a doctor. Some parents might not think that their children don’t really have problems. They might think that they’re kids are just acting that way because they are kids. In some cases, as an adult, a person might even choose to just handle his or her ADHD on his or her own by choosing to self-medicate. 

Self-medicating of any sort can often lead to substance abuse and addiction. There are many different ways in which people with ADHD might choose to self-medicate. All of these ways can have some significant consequences.

Illicit Drugs

Some people don’t choose to get a prescription from a doctor for ADHD medication. Instead, some people chose to acquire stimulants on the street and take those instead. This can include substances such as cocaine, heroin, or amphetamines. Not only do such people run the risk of getting tainted substances, but taking these substances can lead to serious medical issues and addiction.

Alcohol

Another common way in which people choose to self-medicate is through the use of alcohol. Alcohol is perfectly legal to drink in the U.S. for anyone 21 years of age or older. 

Someone suffering from ADHD might turn to alcohol for a variety of reasons including to ease the emotional pain and stress that comes along with his or her ADHD. 

People that suffer from ADHD may also turn to alcohol to help them deal with social problems fit in better in social settings. While on the surface, drinking alcohol might seem to be helping one’s ADHD, it can actually worsen symptoms associated with ADHD and lead to the development of an alcohol-related issue.

Caffeine

Just like alcohol, caffeine is easily accessible and completely legal. Not only that, but unlike alcohol, you don’t even have to be of a certain age to consume caffeine. While caffeine has been known to help with concentration and focus, it is not intended to be a ADHD medication substitute for those that suffer from ADHD addiction. Additionally, too much caffeine can actually do the opposite and can lead to memory and concentration problems.

Cigarettes

Smoking cigarettes such as lung problems and cancer, smoking cigarettes can actually make those who suffer from ADHD more hyper and more wired, which is the exact opposite of its desired effect. For those who suffer from ADHD, smoking cigarettes can also lead to:

  • Increased anxiety
  • Thinning of your brain’s frontal cortex which controls things like learning, memory, and attention span
  • Lowering the overall brain functionality

Prescription Drugs

Even those who have been medically prescribed ADHD medications such as Ritalin or Adderall run the risk of developing substance abuse issues. Abusing drugs or taking them in a manner other than directed can lead to an increased risk of a heart attack or a stroke, in addition to an increased risk of the development of a substance abuse issue such as addiction.

 


Are There Treatment Options Available For Those Suffering From ADHD and Addiction?

Whether you are suffering from ADHD an addiction or not, those who suffer from a co-occurring mental health condition and addiction can receive help via a dual diagnosis treatment program. Before treatment can begin though, detoxing must first take place. 

Detoxing is done to rid the body of all harmful substances so the body and mind can begin to heal. Detoxing can be done at a local medical facility. It can also be done at a dedicated detox center, or a treatment facility that also offers detox services such as Harmony Ridge. Attempting to self-detox can be dangerous and even life-threatening. 

Once detox has been completed, a dual diagnosis program can begin. The majority of dual diagnosis treatment programs revolve around various types of therapy sessions. These include individual therapy, group therapy, and psychotherapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. For those who have not been previously prescribed an ADHD medication such as Adderall or Ritalin, a treatment professional might recommend the prescribing of one of those substances during treatment based on the person and their needs. 

In addition to the various therapies, a dual diagnosis program will focus on the following when it comes to ADHD and addiction:

  • Building self-esteem
  • Encouraging motivation
  • Controlling the symptoms of ADHD through behavioral modification instead of substances of abuse
  • Educating both the person in treatment and their family members 
  • Identifying triggers and working on how to manage impulses in a healthy manner
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Want To Know More About ADHD and Addiction?

Due to the fact that ADHD is a neurological disorder, the connection between ADHD and addiction is stronger and more significant than other mental health conditions. At Harmony Ridge, we understand the complications that can arise when someone is suffering from a mental health condition, such as ADHD, and addiction. We offer a variety of therapies and treatment programs designed for those who are suffering from a dual diagnosis condition. If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction as well as a mental health condition, such as ADHD, contact us today.

Contact Harmony Ridge Today!

The first step towards achieving recovery is giving us a call. Our team of admissions professionals are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Give us a call today! (888) 771-8372

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