When you’re looking for the best ADHD treatment program Northern IL has to offer, it might seem overwhelming at first. That’s why National ADHD Awareness Month 2019 is an ideal time to talk about what ADHD is, how it relates to addiction, and when it might be time to get help. Bringing ADHD Awareness to the Forefront of Addiction Treatment could help mitigate the stigma against those with ADHD. ADHD is thought to be a childhood issue, but the truth is, it can carry over to adulthood, and the symptoms can often trigger or co-exist with substance abuse.
What is ADHD?
National ADHD Awareness Month is the perfect time to learn more about ADHD. ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a disorder where a person may have difficulty paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors, or have a need to be continuously active. People with ADHD show an ongoing pattern of three categories of symptom types that get in the way of functioning. These are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, and consist of a variety of examples to help doctors recognize when a person is affected.
ADHD affects children and adults, males and females. An estimated 8.8% of children have ADHD, while 4.4% of adults are classified as having the disorder. It isn’t known what causes ADHD, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic makeup and environmental factors. Those with low birth weight, brain injuries, other concurrent diagnoses, exposure to substance abuse during pregnancy, or exposure to environmental toxins are thought to be more at risk.
While there is no cure for ADHD, there are treatments that can improve functioning and reduce symptoms. A combination of treatments, including therapy, education on coping mechanisms, and medication are all options. Other disorders can also have these symptoms, so getting a diagnosis is helpful. Helping others understand what ADHD is, especially during National ADHD Awareness Month, can also bring light to the situation.
The Addiction Connection
During National ADHD Awareness Month, it’s also important to help people realize the connection to addiction. Because children with ADHD are more likely than any other kids to begin using drugs and alcohol, they run the risk of ending up with a substance abuse problem. Many times, ADHD comes first, but not always. Children and adults with ADHD tend to use drugs and alcohol to cope with the issues that surround having the disorder. Here’s why this makes sense:
- The problems with impulsivity, poor judgment, and personal troubles that come with ADHD can increase the risk of a person initiating substance abuse
- There might be a genetic link between ADHD and the risk of developing substance abuse
- People with ADHD are likely to try and self-medicate their symptoms through substance abuse
There’s also a connection between dopamine transmission and both ADHD and substance abuse. People with ADHD have issues regulating neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine, and people who abuse drugs and alcohol are often looking for a surge in these levels that the high provides.
When to Get Professional Help
With those with ADHD being more than 2.5 times more likely to end up with a substance use disorder, it’s essential to recognize the impact that ADHD can have on addiction treatment. Treating the two as one can help maintain a successful recovery. That’s because both addiction and ADHD can create a pattern of feeding off of each other. It’s like the chicken and the egg: one of your ADHD symptoms could trigger the desire to take drugs or drink alcohol, while using can intensify the effects of your ADHD. If you notice that you’re struggling with ADHD and addiction, or you are dealing with substance abuse and suspect you might have ADHD, it’s time to get help.
We Can Help
To learn more about how to get help for your ADHD, reach out to us by calling 855.786.1978. We know the struggles you’re dealing with and want to help you through your diagnosis and treatment process in a way that ensures you feel supported and understood.