ADHD and Substance Abuse as Co-Occurring Disorders
While the term Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) continues to be thrown around to describe a misbehaved or hyperactive individual, it becomes increasingly more important that we dispel myths about the disorder.
As defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health (DSM-5) and published in the American Psychiatric Association (APA), symptoms of ADHD include:
- Inability to remain on task
- Difficulty organizing tasks/activities
- Inability to meet deadlines
- Unwillingness to engage in activities that require focusing
- Easily distracted
- Excessive and fast paced talking
- Always “on the go”
- Consistently interrupting others
- Consistent daydreaming
Despite common belief, ADHD is not a behavior malfunction, rather, it is a serious disorder. Typically, those who suffer from ADHD often experience troubles with substance abuse as well. The co-occurring disorders become far more difficult to diagnose and treat, often resulting in mistreatment or neglect.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has concluded that 30-50% of individuals who are diagnosed with ADHD continue to experience symptoms throughout their adult lives. Of those suffering from ADHD, nearly half of them experience some form of substance abuse disorder.
Why is there a connection between ADHD and substance abuse disorder?
- Those who experience symptoms from ADHD are looking for a way to calm down. Drugs and alcohol often have temporary calming effects that allow ADHD patients to focus and relax.
- Those who have difficulty focusing or relaxing during social situations seek help from drugs and alcohol.
- The anxiety and depression that occurs from experiencing ADHD symptoms for so many years often results in seeking drugs and alcohol for comfort.
- Feelings of self-loathing may result in the use of drugs and alcohol.
At Inspire Malibu, we are able to offer unique dual-diagnosis treatment options for those suffering from ADHD and substance abuse disorder. Unlike most facilities which lack sufficient staffing, our fully equipped team of knowledgeable physicians can successfully treat co-occurring disorders such as ADHD and substance abuse disorder. We understand the importance of treating both disorders simultaneously. Without dual treatment, it is impossible to treat both disorders.
Our very own founder and CEO, Dr. Akikur Mohammad is double-board certified in Addiction Medicine and Psychiatry. He has personally found success with treating patients with ADHD and substance abuse disorder by combining ADHD medications with one-on-one counseling therapy. Allow your most bothersome worry to be treated through Inspire Malibu’s dual diagnosis treatment solutions.