Dual Diagnosis: ADHD and Substance Abuse
In addition to concluding that an individual suffers from addiction, we often find underlying mental health conditions that create a substance dependency to ease the effects of conditions like ADHD. We incorporate dual diagnosis into every addiction and ADHD treatment plan for each of our clients to get them started. For us to accurately create a custom treatment plan, we must address all issues. As we diagnose ADHD, it becomes apparent to our therapist and the client what steps can be taken to help them achieve full rehabilitation from ADHD and their addiction.
When we see clients that are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, we offer them a safe space to absorb and understand that they are dealing with not only an addiction but a mental health condition as well. This can be unsettling to many people, or it can cause some things to fall into place and finally make sense of otherwise confusing behavior.
What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is often described as a chemical imbalance in the brain that causes the person affected to be easily distracted, unable to focus, hyperactive, and socially inept.
It can be difficult for a person with this disorder to have social interactions and they may suffer memory impairment. The parts of the brain that are affect by ADHD are those that are concerned with memory, social skills, personal drive or motivational skills, and impulse control.
Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADD/ADHD) are commonly interchangeable terms. The medical community has officially accepted the second title to include hyperactivity because this symptom is common in diagnosis. It is correct now to refer to ADD as ADHD, to include the full scope of symptoms. At The Villa Treatment Center, we often see clients that come to us suffering from undiagnosed ADHD and co-occurring addictions.
Who is affected by ADHD?
Many people are affected by ADHD, but only about three percent of the world is diagnosed with it. ADHD is often diagnosed in childhood, but those that are not diagnosed at an early stage are affected throughout their lives. The complications that arise from late diagnosis can have an impact on the lifestyle and quality of life of the individual.
Often those diagnosed are male, young and old. The symptoms of ADHD that are often expressed in boys are easier to see since males are known to act out. Girls revert into themselves and are not as expressive as boys. There can be subtle symptoms as well that are socially based in terms of speech and retention.
Symptoms of ADHD that Could Result in Substance Abuse:
- Social interaction issues
- Inability to concentrate
- Muddled memory
- Inability to complete tasks
- Lashing out
- Nervous behaviors
- Physically acting out
- Erratic behavior
ADHD Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Our exercises in mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and equine therapy can help to enhance personal understanding and awareness. When our clients come to the point where they can listen to their body and feel the changes that send them spiraling into addiction, they can make progressive changes in their behaviors. ADHD requires cognitive behavioral therapy treatment to offer the client specific activities to address issues of memory, focus, procrastination, and more.
Family therapy and group sessions are often added to the ADHD and addiction treatment plan so that social skills and accountability can be practiced. Connection with our loved ones can help to increase our chances of recovery from addiction.
If you or your loved one suffers from substance abuse and could have ADHD, please call The Villa Treatment Center today to speak with our intake team.