Putting the Focus on ADHD and Addiction

Edited by Paul Alexander

Last updated October 13, 2016

Living with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be challenging, especially when you are trying to be productive but are faced with restlessness, problems focusing, and a racing mind. While many people are diagnosed with ADHD in childhood, it can also be identified in adults. Some people may not even realize they have this condition because they have found ways to adapt and minimize the impact.

Medication can be an effective way of managing ADHD because it helps to resolve chemical imbalances in the brain and improve focus and concentration. Sometimes college students start using these medications to boost their studies, even when they don’t have ADHD. This can become dangerous because there is a high risk of addiction. Typically the medications used are stimulants, which can be misused by someone without ADHD.

In addition, some people try to treat ADHD symptoms on their own by using drugs or alcohol to relax, slow their mind, or increase their focus. The impulsivity associated with ADHD can also increase a person’s tendency to experiment with different substances. Researchers in one study estimated that “as many as 25 percent of adults with a lifetime history of substance abuse may also have ADHD.” Not everyone with ADHD develops an addiction, and not everyone with an addiction has ADHD, but there is effective treatment for both.

Treating ADHD and Addiction

Each client at Northbound undergoes a comprehensive evaluation to identify underlying mental health conditions such as ADHD. It is important that ADHD is addressed and clients learn how to manage their mental health while also overcoming addiction. An individualized treatment plan is developed that encompasses holistic therapies, cognitive-behavioral therapy, social skills, and a variety of other techniques to teach coping strategies. Customized treatment can allow you or a loved one learn to manage symptoms of ADHD while building a healthier life in recovery from addiction as well.

Have you turned to drugs or alcohol as way of coping with ADHD? Let Northbound help you get on the road to a healthier recovery.

Article Reviewed by Paul Alexander

Paul AlexanderPaul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.


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