ADHD and Addiction: Symptoms and Treatment

Dual Diagnosis: ADHD and Addiction

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a very common neurodevelopmental disorder, and is most prominent in children. It is a condition that begins early and last through into adulthood.

It stands for ‘Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity disorder’, so it impacts an individual’s concentration and ability to complete tasks.

What causes ADHD?

ADHD tends to run in families, and in most cases it is passed down from your parents. The way in which ADHD is inherited is very complicated and is thought to be due to a genetic fault.

Another cause of ADHD is brain structure – certain parts of the brain are smaller in people with ADHD.

People at risk of ADHD include:

  • Premature birth
  • Epileptic individuals
  • Those with brain damage

Risk factors of ADHD.

What are the symptoms?

  • Trouble focusing or concentrating
  • Easily distracted
  • Interrupting people
  • Irritability
  • Forgetful about completing chores and tasks

How does dual diagnosis develop?

ADHD can cause drug-seeking behaviour as a coping mechanism for the symptoms.

Many with ADHD tend to self-medicate to compensate for a feeling of a lack of balance.

Best treatments for ADHD and addiction

The best way to overcome addiction is to seek residential treatment. 

By detoxing and receiving counselling and various therapy, you will be able to be stable and sober enough to continue treatment.

Behavioural therapy such as CBT can be a good way of knowing your triggers and dealing with cravings, as well as knowing the characteristics of your ADHD.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a short-term form of psychotherapy, which is very much goal-focused. It aims to identify and change negative behavioural patterns.

It aims to help individuals come to terms with themselves, and approach their future. Read more here.

The best way to prevent addiction or dual diagnosis is by seeking treatment early to achieve long-term sobriety. Want to know more about addiction treatment?