Addiction and ADHD: The Disturbing Link

There’s a link between addiction and ADHD, a neurological disorder that makes people incapable of controlling impulsive behavior.

ADHD and Addiction

What is ADHD?

ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a neurological disorder that is typically diagnosed during childhood, but may be carried on well into adulthood. ADHD is typically characterized by difficulty paying attention and staying still, difficulty coping with boredom and tedious tasks, as well as controlling impulsive behaviors.

ADHD develops due to several factors. Some people have a higher chance of developing it in early childhood, due to the following factors:

  • Genetics. Adults who have ADHD since childhood are more likely to have children who have ADHD and are also more likely to come from a family with members who have ADHD as well.
  • Exposure to Toxic Substances. Mothers who used to smoke or are exposed to tobacco and alcohol during pregnancy may also have an increased risk of having children who develop ADHD.
  • Trauma. Injury to the brain, or development of a tumor or other neurological disease, as well as stroke, may also affect the parts of the brain that control motor activity and impulse-control behavior.

Addiction and ADHD

Many studies have shown that those with ADHD have an increased risk for using drugs and alcohol, as well as addictive behavior, as a way to cope with the symptoms that come with the disorder. Those who are prescribed stimulants for treating their ADHD may also find themselves hooked on the drug. Without professional help, this can immediately spiral into addiction, as the lack of dopamine in their brains can make them seek an alternative.

However, the caveat is, the medications used to treat ADHD are also habit-forming and can lead to addiction. Therefore, treatment of co-occurring disorders such as this, addiction and ADHD, must be done with special care. It’s important to monitor both issues closely and at the same time.

Bridges of Hope is a private drug addiction rehabilitation center that can professionally tackle co-occurring disorders using the Eclectic Therapeutic Community and multi-dimensional approach.



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