Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects approximately 4 percent of U.S. adults, according to the National Resource Center on ADHD. Some of the most common symptoms include physical hyperactivity, impulsive behavior, poor attention and inability to stay focused, difficulty starting and completing tasks, poor organizational skills, and tendencies towards forgetfulness and misplacing items. In adults, ADHD can cause problems in relationships with family, in school, and at work. It is a lifelong disorder but with proper treatment it can be well managed. Unfortunately, undiagnosed or poorly managed adult ADHD can lead to drug abuse and alcoholism.
Research studies have shown evidence that adults with ADHD are more prone to alcohol dependence and at a high risk for alcoholism. It is estimated that nearly half of all adults with ADHD are also suffering with substance abuse, including alcohol abuse. Studies of adults battling alcoholism and diagnosed with ADHD exhibited drinking and alcohol dependence at an early age, consumed higher than the recommended daily and monthly consumption levels of alcohol, and reported other related factors such as antisocial behavior and increased thoughts of suicide.
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As a neurobiological disorder, ADHD can affect a person's cognitive, physical, psychological, and neurological functions. Drug and alcohol abuse are conditions that can have root causes aligned with any of these functions. A person does not decide one day to become an alcoholic or drug addict. Alcoholism and drug abuse are conditions that develop over time and usually begin as a means to escape from a trauma, abuse, or disorder. Many people use drugs and alcohol to attempt to escape from or control a disorder such as depression, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and ADHD.
With advancing medical sciences and state-of-the-art technologies, neuroscientists are able to provide specialized treatment for co-existing disorders including adult ADHD and alcohol or drug abuse. It is important to treat the disorders together under one treatment plan. This will ensure that the individual receives the appropriate professional medical care designed to address the needs of both disorders. Treatment that only addresses one condition and not the other has a significantly reduced chance of success. For example, if an individual treats his alcohol addiction but continues to go undiagnosed for ADHD or is diagnosed with ADHD but does not manage it well with treatment, he is at a high risk of returning to his alcohol addiction.
Advanced drug and alcohol rehab centers specializing in neurosciences can provide full service treatment programs to address co-existing disorders. With modern technology and an integrative approach, they can address the cognitive, physical, psychological, and neurological needs of individuals suffering from adult ADHA and drug and alcohol abuse.