Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a mental health condition that affects children, teens, and adults. It can occur in a wide variety of circumstances. Unfortunately, it often appears in people affected by addiction. If this happens to you or someone you love, dual diagnosis treatment is necessary during the recovery process. That’s the name for treatment that addresses multiple mental health issues simultaneously. An ADHD therapy program can be crucial to your sobriety.
What Is the Underlying Reason for the Need for ADHD Treatment?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a chronic brain illness. It’s characterized by a continual pattern of inattention with or without symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity. This pattern interferes with normal, daily functioning. It can also have a profound effect on human development.
To explain ADHD a bit more fully, it can help to understand what the various components of the disorder mean and how they work together:
- Inattention refers to what happens when someone wanders off task and has problems staying focused. Sometimes this is misunderstood as defiance or problems with comprehension. Disorganization is a key factor in this component.
- Hyperactivity refers to how people with ADHD tend to move around frequently or almost constantly. This happens even in situations when doing so is not appropriate. Hyperactivity can also refer to fidgeting, tapping, or constant talking. For adults, hyperactivity can be displayed as restlessness or tiring others out because of continual movements.
- Impulsivity – This component refers to making quick decisions at the moment without giving them a second thought, regardless of the long-term consequences. These decisions may be dangerous. Also, impulsivity can lead someone to have difficulty waiting for delayed gratification. The social ramifications of impulsivity are very real, and interrupting others is a common factor.
ADHD and Addiction in Adults and Teens
What are the connections between ADHD and addiction in adults and teens? About a quarter of the adults who seek addiction treatment also report having ADHD. In addition, teens who develop ADHD as children have increased chances of using drugs or alcohol. As a result, they also have increased addiction risks.
What explains these connections? Drugs and alcohol provide a way for people living with ADHD to cope. They may recognize that this coping only lasts for a very short period. However, the relief they experience far outweighs any potential dangers of continuing to use. Of course, in reality, that’s not the case.
There is also evidence that suggests that dopamine levels in the brain are much lower for someone who has ADHD. Drugs and alcohol tend to increase dopamine levels. That alone can make them an attractive alternative to the effects of untreated ADHD symptoms. Fortunately, today we have much better methods of treating conditions like ADHD. That’s true even when they occur simultaneously with addictions to drugs or alcohol.
Dual Diagnosis, ADHD, and Addiction Treatment
Dual diagnosis care is the modern standard for combined ADHD and addiction treatment. This approach addresses all of your symptoms in a coordinated manner. Medication often plays a main role in controlling the symptoms of ADHD. Several types of therapy have also been shown to be effective in teenagers, including:
CBT and family therapy also provide benefits for adults. In addition, adults may benefit from marriage counseling.
Therapy also plays a prominent role in the treatment of addiction. Fortunately, the same forms of therapy used in ADHD treatment can support your addiction recovery. In addition, medication can help you recover from some of the most common substance problems.
Benefits of an Addiction and ADHD Treatment Program
An addiction and ADHD treatment program provides multiple benefits. Dual diagnosis treatment for ADHD and addiction works so well because of its goals. Common goals include:
- Finding a way to modify destructive thoughts and behaviors that encourage addiction
- Encouraging internal motivation for change
- Building self-esteem
- Using behavioral modification and medication therapy to control symptoms
- Learning how to manage impulses
Typical goals also include identifying and deactivating various substance abuse triggers.
Turn to Northpoint Recovery’s Addiction and ADHD Therapy Program
Do you or your loved one need ADHD and addiction treatment? Northpoint Recovery is your premier service provider in greater Boise. We specialize in dual diagnosis treatment for combined mental health issues. That includes the combination of ADHD and addiction. We’ll develop a customized program that fits your specific situation no matter your age. Call us today at 208.486.0130 to learn more about our services.