ADHD Tied to Higher Instances of Substance Abuse
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a disorder that involves higher than average brain activity. Individuals who suffer from ADHD commonly have trouble concentrating, sitting still and committing to anything that requires focus.
ADHD is most often diagnosed in children; the disorder does persist through adulthood as well. Individuals who suffer from ADHD can be prescribed medication, such as Ritalin and Adderall to help cope with symptoms and allow for greater concentration and calmness. Individuals who suffer from the disorder however, also have a higher chance of falling into the cycle of substance abuse. This is due to many factors involved with the disorder.
Since ADHD is widely treated with potentially addictive medication, most individuals with ADHD are introduced to routinely taking drugs at an early age. It is experienced at a young age how drugs, (although legitimately prescribed), can change mood, behavior and thinking. While children are generally well managed and cared for by adults in the consumption of medications, as adults, the story is different; there's a wide range of drugs that are available without any other individual needing to know of the habit. Since children suffering from ADHD are commonly prescribed controlling medication, it can also instill in their minds, no matter how careful parents are, that taking drugs in their situation is a good and beneficial thing. This is most commonly considered the root of addiction relating to ADHD.
Another reason why individuals dealing with ADHD are more prone to substance abuse is the stress associated with the disorder. Having ADHD can potentially result in lower grades for college students, higher difficulty in work performance, and the ability to maintain a steady job and added difficulty in maintaining relationships. ADHD can even make it hard for individuals to stick to healthy routines and stay focused on menial but essential tasks. The extra effort or inability to remain fully focused and set on one thing at a time can lead to depression, frustration, high stress and other negative feelings. This in turn leads many to turn to drugs or alcohol to cope. On one hand substance abuse can allow individuals with ADHD to unwind from the potentially daily struggle with the disorder. Many drugs (such as marijuana) can actually work similar to suggested medication, in that they allow the individual to relax, focus and not think and act as hectic as they are when sober.
The added catch that may attribute to the higher chances of an individual with ADHD to develop an addiction is that unlike depression, or temporary life struggles, ADHD is a permanent condition that can be a lifelong difficulty. While an individual who suffers from depression or a hard patch in life can eventually move on and recuperate, and individual suffering from ADHD will always have to try that much harder to maintain normalcy, leading to long-term abuse.
It is important that you or someone you know who suffers from ADHD establish ways to cope and live with the disorder in a healthy way. This is a sure fire way to avoid potential addiction and long-term substance abuse.
For more information on our addiction treatment programs and therapeutic approaches, call toll free at: 800-960-5041. Florida Center for Recovery offers residential drug and alcohol rehab treatment through 12-Step and Non 12-Step Programs.