ADHD and Addiction: Signs, Symptoms and Rehab Treatment

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is typically associated with children and teens, but in truth, adults also suffer from this condition. Unfortunately, ADHD in adults can actually lead to substance abuse and addiction, as adults find themselves self-medicating with recreational drugs or prescription medication in an attempt to seek relief.

If you’re uncertain whether you’re suffering from ADHD, simply ask yourself if you happen to be frequently inattentive. For instance:

  • Do you make careless mistakes at school or work?
  • Are you unable to pay close attention to detail?
  • Do you lose important items easily?
  • Are you hyperactive and impulsive (characterised by restlessness, excessive talking, and fidgeting)?

If you experience all of the above, then you could have ADHD. Furthermore, if you are also abusing addictive substances, it’s possible you might be developing a substance use disorder.

Before the condition gets out of hand, give us a call today on 0203 553 9263 for professional help.

What is ADHD and Addiction?

ADHD can best be described as a developmental disorder. People who have ADHD are known to have a persistent pattern of hyperactivity and/or inattention – a combination which negatively impacts their general functioning and ability to complete tasks.

For all people, the development of ADHD begins during childhood. For some, the problem stops at that time, while for others it continues into adulthood. ADHD in adults is very similar to that of a child with the same condition. However, amongst adults, the symptoms of ADHD are less severe – especially those concerning hyperactivity.

If you have ADHD as well as a substance abuse disorder or addiction, this is referred to as a dual diagnosis. Adults and adolescents with ADHD typically smoke twice as many cigarettes as those who don’t have the disorder. Also, those with adult ADHD tend to suffer from more severe addiction and substance abuse issues, compared to adults without ADHD. This is because ADHD and a substance abuse disorder usually serve to reinforce one another.

Signs and Symptoms

There are numerous of ways to identify whether a person has ADHD and is self-medicating. Some of the tell-tale signs include:

  • Impulsivity and elevated novelty seeking
  • Failing to pay close attention to detail
  • Not seeming to listen when spoken to
  • Making careless mistakes at home or during formal activities
  • Problems with staying focused on tasks
  • Inability to follow instructions
  • Avoiding tasks that require sustained mental effort
  • Regularly losing important items
  • Being constantly fidgety
  • Inability to stay still
  • Talking excessively
  • Interrupting or intruding on others
  • A higher probability of unemployment
  • Elevated interpersonal conflict

Short-Term Effects

A person with ADHD may use alcohol or marijuana to self-medicate, with the aim of relaxing or reducing hyperactivity. However, continued use of the drug (especially in high doses) can lead to poor work attendance, legal issues, and interpersonal conflict – all of which can worsen the symptoms of ADHD. With the hope of reducing such symptoms, the individual could consume more drugs, which will result in a never ending cycle of substance misuse as the symptoms persist.

Having both ADHD and addiction at simultaneously is known as a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis.

Withdrawal Symptoms

If a person with ADHD is addicted to a substance and tries to quit, they will experience typical withdrawal symptoms such as cravings, aches, nausea, fever, and so on. Most important of all, they will experience a return of the symptoms they were trying to suppress by self-medicating. Usually, these symptoms will return more intensely during the period of withdrawal.

Recovery Treatment

Ritalin and Adderall are prescription medication commonly prescribed for treating ADHD. When a person has a co-occurring disorder – such as addiction and ADHD – extra care will be taken when prescribing medication in order to avoid exacerbating the condition. Atomoxetine (Strattera), Bupropion (Wellbutrin) or other non-stimulant medication are often preferred for treating ADHD and addiction simultaneously, due to the drugs’ low risk of abuse.

Psychoeducation can also be helpful in treating both disorders, as well as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Alongside psychoeducation, CBT will help the recovering addict learn the necessary skills and strategies needed to better manage cravings and other symptoms.

With the aid of family therapy, all those closest to you can come to better understand the co-occurring disorder and how to effectively help and encourage you to stay focused on recovery. This also facilitates communication, which enables you to receive all the emotional and spiritual support from those you care about the most.

Rehab Benefits

ADHD and addiction treatment in our private rehab centre for co-occurring disorders comes with a variety of benefits, some of which include:

  • Teach you how to overcome root causes of your addiction
  • Treatment in a safe and nurturing environment
  • Learn proven relapse prevention techniques
  • 24/7 care and support
  • Personalised rehabilitation treatment programme
  • Medically assisted drug detox
  • Medically assisted alcohol detox

Get Help Today

The sooner you get help for ADHD and addiction, the better. This is because for every minute such a co-occurring disorder is ignored, the problem will only worsen. If you or a loved one suffer from ADHD and addiction and would like to overcome this condition, we can help. Our rehab is CQC regulated and we have helped many individuals retake control of their lives.

Call our confidential helpline today by dialling 0203 5539263 to get started on the safe and effective path to recovery.

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Call Now 0203 553 9263
Call Now 0203 553 9263

Call Now 0203 553 9263

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  • Guildford
  • Surrey GU3 3RF