Our experienced clinical staff understand the interplay between ADHD and addiction and will create an individualized treatment plan to provide the best chance for a new, healthy, and sober life.
What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD, is a psychiatric disorder characterized by impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and an inability to focus or pay attention. Affecting 6-7% of children, ADHD is the subject of some controversy in the medical community as to how it is diagnosed and treated. Though it is not curable, most people with ADHD learn coping mechanisms for managing the disorder, and it is possible for the symptoms of ADHD to fade in adulthood. Approximately 30-50% of those diagnosed with ADHD as children continue to experience symptoms as adults.
Signs and Symptoms of ADHD
Individuals diagnosed with ADHD are categorized as predominantly hyperactive-impulsive, predominantly inattentive or as a combination of the two. It should be stressed that the impulsivity and inattention that define ADHD should be viewed within the context of the age of the child. Moreover, it must be determined that the hyperactivity and attention difficulties are significantly worse than can be observed in the child’s peers.
Those who suffer from ADHD are often fidgety and impatient, have poor impulse control, and experience great difficulty with maintaining focus on a task. They may talk incessantly, are easily distracted, seem to be constantly in motion, and are very impatient, constantly interrupting others or acting without consideration of the consequences. Children with ADHD often have difficulties in the development of social skills and may also be delayed in language skills or motor development. ADHD commonly co-occurs with other disorders, including learning disabilities, oppositional defiant disorder, mood disorders, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and sleep disorders. In addition, those with ADHD are especially vulnerable to substance abuse problems, especially cannabis or alcohol. (Moreover, some stimulants used in the treatment of ADHD are addictive in their own right, making some doctors hesitant to prescribe medication for any but the most extreme cases.)
Treatment for ADHD
When ADHD co-occurs with an addiction or substance abuse problem, the first response is often to treat the dependency, as it seems more “urgent” and more easily cured. However, effective recovery requires intervention in both the dependency and the ADHD, and the creation of a treatment program that can respond to both.
At Northbound Treatment Services, we specialize in dual diagnoses, and will create an individualized treatment plan that addresses the ADHD along with the dependency and any other co-occurring disorder. Though medication is sometimes indicated in the treatment of ADHD, we prefer to avoid the use of drugs to the extent possible. However, in cases where medication is necessary for effective participation in the recovery process, prescriptions are dispensed only under the care of a licensed psychiatrist who is experienced in addiction treatment and mental health issues.
Counseling and the teaching of coping strategies have proven to be successful in the treatment of ADHD, and Northbound’s experienced clinical staff is very familiar with the methodologies that have borne the best results in treating ADHD co-occurring with substance abuse. We pursue a holistic approach to treatment that embraces cognitive behavioral therapy, training in social skills, family therapy, and other techniques that have demonstrated their effectiveness over time.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction or dependency problem, further complicated by existing ADHD, Northbound can help. Our experienced clinical staff understands the interplay between the disorder and addiction and will create an individualized treatment plan that will provide the best chance for a new, healthy, and sober life. Don’t wait. Contact Northbound Treatment Services today.