Addictions and ADHD: The Risks Associated with Substance Abuse

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Millions of people in the USA are diagnosed with ADHD every year and a far greater number are believed to be affected by the disorder. Young children, as well as adults, are being identified as having mental disorders.

Addiction and ADHD

These disorders are often characterized by obvious symptoms like impulsivity and easily being distracted without taking into consideration the consequences that could arise out of one’s actions.

ADHD individuals are often seen to lack the necessary focus on their daily activities.

The data available with the American Medical Association has put the figures at an estimated 6.4 million youngsters in the age bracket of 4 to 17 years old who have a successful ADHD diagnosis.

An additional 4 percent of individuals are believed to be either living with ADHD symptoms or experiencing these symptoms in their lives without taking timely actions.

Numerous studies and recent developments suggest a link between individuals falling to substance abuse and ADHD. One such study focuses aptly on links between future substance abuse and ADHD in young teens.

MUST READ: A Quick Guide to Recognizing Depression Symptoms in ADHD Children

Teens that have had to endure ADHD during their childhood or early adolescence are prone to future addictions. Addictions could range from substance abuse to alcoholism.

The research further helps in indicating effective and proven ways to treat the symptoms and help these individuals to lead a normal and healthy life.

This guide is designed to provide necessary information in order to help one understand how ADHD can be linked to substance abuse arising in some individuals. Further, the guide includes necessary information on the indicators that could provide information on individuals who could be on their way to becoming addicted.

Included are necessary suggestions from those who are diagnosed with ADHD to explain how the symptoms triggered substance abuse.

Further, helpful resources have been included in the guide to help those who are struggling with either of these conditions.

If you happen to be the one suffering from an addiction or have been diagnosed with ADHD, you need to understand you are not alone.

It is always advisable to acknowledge any conditions and to seek out help. There are different ways that are designed to help, and willingness to receive that help can go a long way in ensuring that you stay healthy.

The Links Between Substance Abuse and ADHD Uncovered

Co-occurrence, or comorbidity, can happen when multiple mental disorders are present in the human brain. One results in causing the other condition, and at times they work in tandem resulting in fueling other conditions.

For instance, an individual who has an ADHD diagnosis could end up developing anxiety-related symptoms due to the mental pressure they inflict upon themselves in order to keep up with their peers.

Higher stress is seen to be directly related to increased substance abuse, which points to the evidence of a link existing between ADHD and the substance abuse.

Drugs, nicotine, alcohol and other addictive substances have been designed to release chemicals that result in instant gratification. These substances release the dopamine chemical in the brain when they are used.

Prolonged use of these substances is seen to trick the brain into thinking that these substances are necessary for its survival. This leads to different complexities arising in the human body which hinder its ability to produce natural dopamine.

Continued use could render someone helpless in their attempts to quit at a later time since the body gives undesired signals when it requires a substance due to addiction.

Nevertheless, there exist important indicators and signs that one can watch out for to help identify alcohol or drug abuse.

These substances are seen to impact the user’s daily life activities. This article helps one understand that the varying frequencies of usage do not necessarily mean problems do not exist.

For instance, if someone smokes weed or marijuana on a regular basis, they might end up missing their regular school time or have their other obligations hampered.

On the other hand, some people think that not smoking every day means the drug is not being abused. However, studies say otherwise.

Dramatic changes in the behavior of an individual can act as the first sign of growing chemical dependencies. These dependencies could result in an individual withdrawing from their social circle or lying about their usage of a specific substance.

At times, when individuals find their activities are being controlled to reduce their substance abuse, they may end up taking alternative routes or performing actions that could be illegal or dangerous in a bid to obtain them.

Substances are not the only things abused to a large extent. Medications too can be abused if they are not taken as per the doctor’s prescription.

For instance, medications, when taken in excess quantities or dosages in a way other than what the doctor has prescribed, could indicate a far greater problem.

Additionally, when someone is addicted, he/she may use a far greater amount of the substance as time progresses in order to feel its effects.

This resource provides readers with helpful insight into understanding how ADHD might influence an individual’s impending issues while abusing substances.

A study led by a group of researchers from the Pittsburg School of Medicine has revealed that there exists an actual relationship between being diagnosed with ADHD during childhood and feeling the symptoms at a later point in time.

ADHD individuals are seen to be 15 percent more prone to trying substances than their regular peers before they have attained an average age of 17 years old.

The obvious characteristics of ADHD that trigger hyperactiveness and induce difficulties in maintaining focus are seen to create a far higher risk of a substance being abused.

One reason could be due to the tendencies of individuals diagnosed with the disorder to act recklessly, often ending up making poor choices, such as constantly experimenting with different drugs or binge drinking.

People who deal with ADHD symptoms are often seen to experience other related mental health disorders, such as depression, that are often related to their ADHD disorders.

One of the most common ways that people try to self-medicate is by resorting to excessive abuse of substances, such as drinking excessively or over the limits.

Further, people at times tend to abuse prescribed medications or try other illicit drugs in a bid to escape their daily frustrations.

Both children and adults diagnosed with ADHD are often seen to be isolated and may resort to trying out other alternative ways in an attempt to cope with their activities.

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles have arrived at a conclusion after their studies showed that teens being treated with medications for their disorders are now related to risks for future substance abuse, just due to their medications.

The researchers have tried to put the growing misconceptions to rest and have highlighted that people who have been subject to earlier medications and who are presently taking medications are safe if taken as directed, as medications are meant to only ease their existing symptoms.

What can be done if you or your loved one is struggling with addiction and ADHD?

Irrespective of whether you or your loved one is fighting against addiction, it is necessary to remember addictions are complex and are often multi-level afflictions.

Though there are different strategies that have been designed to help one avoid becoming addicted, it should always be noted that addictions are not to be considered the fault of a person who endures it, and neither should friends of the family of an individual be held responsible.

The resources in this guide can help you with effective actions that can be taken for self-help or to assist someone you know who is struggling with addiction.

Good things begin with the thinking process. If you have a feeling about your life being drastically impacted by your addiction, either indirectly or directly as a result of your symptoms, you need to stop and reach out for assistance without giving a second thought.

Many people have difficulty identifying who they can reach out to in times of distress such as these.

It is not just important to reach out to your doctor. You can also initiate the conversation with your loved ones with whom you are at ease to discuss your concerns.

It could be your parents, your spouse, physicians, or your childhood teacher whom you trust. Remember, there isn’t any hard and fast rule to go through the process all by yourself, and your trusted confidants can help you initiate the right measures toward your road to recovery.

If you see yourself suspecting your child’s addictiveness, it is high time you know and understands the warning signs of being addicted to substances. It is always advisable to be prepared and knows how to talk to your dear ones, in this case, your child.

This is important since children at times are seen to be rigid when it comes to discussing their problems openly. Alternatively, children may not understand that they are addicted and need help.

Once you progress with your discussion, you can visit a pediatrician with your handy notes to discuss the appropriate steps that need to be taken in order to ensure your loved ones have a healthy life.

At times, a person who struggles with addiction does not realize how his/her behavior is affecting others around him/her. These individuals need to understand that there could be more than one underlying condition.

Remember, ADHD can end up causing low self-esteem, insomnia, and depression in a person diagnosed with the disorder. These combinations could make a person more prone to dependencies on controlled substances.

It is always advisable to recognize that there are several factors that come in to play with addiction to come up with an effective solution.

If you believe the problem has reached a level of extremity, it is time you consider necessary interventions from qualified professionals to help the sufferer. It is equally important to not try any self-medication without proper guidance of educated professionals.

A qualified practitioner will ensure the intervention goes smoothly, maximizing the chances of your success.

There are many options for treating while dealing with substance abuse and ADHD.

Having addictions and ADHD is not unusual. Medical practitioners who have analyzed the impacts of these co-existing conditions on patients advise a customized treatment plan that often involves therapy sessions followed by medication, if necessary.

Having integrative treatments are vital to success. Integrative treatments mean an individual gets treated for both afflictions in parallel with a single goal to help him/her relieve his/herself from the issues arising out of the underlying conditions.

A practitioner from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says that these types of customized plans help reduce additional costs to the patients while providing a long-lasting solution that tackles one issue at a given point in time.

If you are on a medication at present for treating your ADHD symptoms, you might consider shifting to a proven non-stimulant formula. You benefit from re-abusing the substances at a later point in time while helping yourself to a faster recovery path.

Seek professional guidance to help you overcome your dual conditions, which will further help you to manage your ADHD symptoms to a greater extent.

For instance, a psychotherapist could end up being the right person to provide you the right guidance to overcome your issues. The therapist could also help you gain awareness of the other latent causes that you might not be aware of.

Nevertheless, it is advisable to work with a psychiatrist or a therapist who has the required expertise in working with patients diagnosed with ADHD.

This will help you to be comfortable while your sessions are in progress since a trained person understanding your underlying condition knows well how to work around the issues that you have been facing. This will further help you in gaining faster results for a stable life that is addiction-free.

At times, dependency issues are seen to be diagnosed well before ADHD. In scenarios such as these, a trained psychiatrist looks into things such as if ADHD in any way is the major contributor to the addiction problem.

This further helps you in receiving a complete treatment plan that is designed to address your underlying conditions.

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Addictions and ADHD: The Risks Associated with Substance Abuse
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Addictions and ADHD: The Risks Associated with Substance Abuse
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An article explaining the associated risks from substance abuse
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AutisMag
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