Addiction and mental health can co-exist for some people in what are called co-occurring disorders. People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can suffer from substance abuse issues at a higher rate simply due to taking medications that may be addictive. They may also drink alcohol or have other issues like mental health conditions aside from ADHD that make it difficult for them to cope without drugs. Find out why people with ADHD suffer from addiction and how to navigate these issues in recovery.
Why People Use Drugs
The impulsivity, social awkwardness, and poor judgment that can come with people who have ADHD can lead to heavy consequences. ADHD makes it hard for people to fit in, except when they find it with people who use drugs or drink. They may not think of that person as any different but accept them for who they are. There are other ADHD-related factors that raise the risk for people with substance abuse problems. With biology, some people have an association with risk-taking and novelty-seeking behavior that may predispose them to both ADHD and substance abuse. Families who struggle with addiction may find others in the family also struggle. This can be both environmental and biological in nature.
Potential for Abuse
Medications prescribed for ADHD, methylphenidate, and amphetamine are substances that may lead to abuse and addiction. They are risky to take but some people need them to concentrate and succeed. People with ADHD who take medications are less likely than those who do not to drink or use drugs. If they take them as prescribed, this goes down significantly. Appropriate treatment is key, but that does not mean people with ADHD will not abuse drugs or become addicted through poor use or inappropriate use.
Tips for Healing
When people with addiction also have ADHD, they need to seek support. This can come from twelve-step programs, sober groups, or regular meetings to have fun with friends. To heal takes time, so be on the lookout for any issues that pop up and may mean relapse. This includes untreated disorders, mental health issues, and mood problems. With treatment, ADHD can be supported by medication, but more may be needed to continue seeking the right help to stay in recovery. It is never a guarantee that people will stay in recovery, but the more support a person has, the less likely they are to relapse.
A Step in the Right Direction provides quality care for clients seeking support for addiction recovery. Our goal is to help you navigate recovery successfully no matter your story. Our recovery program is staffed by people who understand the power of addiction. For more information on sober living programs for men and women as well as recovery programs, call (877) 377-3702