Approximately 7-11% of children and 15% of adults in America are diagnosed each year with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Unfortunately, nearly half of them are more likely to form a connection to addiction, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you or someone you love has ADHD, the odds continue to rise that treated or untreated ADHD may be a leading cause of addiction. Therefore it is vital to understand why this connection is happening and how to find help. Before we dive into the connection between ADHD and addiction, let’s learn more about ADHD.
ADHD Facts And Statistics
ADHD is a behavior disorder that causes issues with focus, impulse reactions, fidgeting, misplacement, memory loss, lack of organization, speech degression, trouble managing responsibilities, and more. Not everyone who has ADHD will have all these traits at one time. However, the disorder links to an overall lack of behavioral management. ADHD is difficult to control, and those who are diagnosed with it will likely feel overwhelmed and challenged often.
The facts and statistics about ADHD have changed over the years, as new information is learned about the disorder. This has led to some confusion and many people are left untreated because of potential misdiagnosis. ADHD also occurs frequently with other mental health conditions. Recent studies show that ADHD is present in 40% of children and teens who have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), 20% with depression, and 15% with anxiety.
Regardless of age, those who suffer from ADHD often struggle with addiction because they feel the world does not understand them. For a person with ADHD, it is hard to stay focused, remember details, or even sit still. Some individuals lean towards addiction to self-medicate their ADHD symptoms when in reality they are only making the disorder worse.
How Are Addiction And ADHD Connected?
ADHD is caused by a disconnection in a person’s brain receptors that affects their ability to concentrate or control their actions. Because ADHD is tied to character and personality traits in the brain, addiction can alter these symptoms in a way that seems pleasurable but ultimately makes it worse.
Substance use may seem to relieve ADHD symptoms for a while, but the connection between addiction and ADHD can raise the likelihood of forming an addiction. The brain receptors that are involved with addiction are the same as the ones that cause ADHD. Because of the stronghold that addiction has over a person’s mind, people with ADHD may be at greater risk. Consider these examples:
Memory Loss And Trouble Listening
People with ADHD may have symptoms that make it hard to listen to others and they often lose or misplace things. Both can make it difficult to maintain their independence and/or relationships, leading to emotional pain and discomfort. The desire to take away that type of pain is a perfect cluster for self-destruction, which can be directly related to substance use. Because people with ADHD experience these symptoms often, the risks become even greater.
Impulsivity is a reaction that stops the brain from registering if what they are doing is a wise decision or not. Unfortunately, people with ADHD are more impulsive and may choose to experiment with alcohol and other substances because they simply do not think through their actions fully before engaging in them.
Help And Treatment Are Available
Addiction and ADHD can simultaneously create symptoms and behavioral patterns that cause a massive downfall of one’s self-esteem and self-worth. The mood alterations, anxiety, and physical health problems that occur often develop into a chaotic storm that is far more uncontrollable than ADHD alone. Without help, the person may be trapped in a continuous cycle of ADHD mismanagement and addiction.
However, there are many forms of treatment that can be helpful if you know someone who suffers from ADHD, addiction, or both. These may include medication, detox, individual and group therapy, holistic healing, peer accountability, 12-Step programs, and other recovery options. Those who suffer from ADHD and addiction likely feel alone, like no one can understand their struggles. They will need love, support, and professional guidance to help them live healthier lives. We can’t change the fact that ADHD makes a person more at risk of succumbing to addiction, but we can find effective ways to treat them and make them whole again.
To best support, your loved one, take a free class at Renaissance Ranch. Our experts teach from personal experience, and our open-to-the-public classes are designed to help you learn more about the struggles of the people you care about. Whether you’re a family member, spouse, or parent, it’s never too late to get involved. Reach out to us today to learn more.
ADHD and addiction are no laughing matter. If you or someone you know suffers from either or both of these conditions, please remember that help is here. There are many resources available and many communities that understand the challenges that you are going through. Renaissance Ranch is one of them. Our team of professionals helps people fight both ADHD and addiction by taking an approach of faith and connection. ADHD and addiction can be connected in many ways, but we believe there is a natural way to help heal you or your loved one through it. We know that the symptoms of ADHD often feel overwhelming, but with our programs, your path to recovery will become manageable. If you are struggling with ADHD and addiction, we can help. Contact us today to get control of your life and learn how to live healthier and happier while you cope with ADHD. To learn more, call us now at (801) 308-8898.