Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is characterized by a pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity that has a marked interference with daily life. Some may turn to alcohol and drugs to balance symptoms of ADHD. These individuals should seek dual diagnosis treatment to eliminate substance abuse and stabilize their moods.

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, in the past, was seen exclusively as an issue of childhood development. Three specific features of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Oftentimes, ADHD goes undiagnosed in childhood and becomes more difficult to manage as an adult. Recently, psychologists have noticed a greater influx of adults who suffer from ADHD that has gone undiagnosed.

ADHD symptoms that carry over into adulthood have a negative impact on social, occupational and educational functioning. Some adults with ADHD have difficulty maintaining concentration, completing tasks, managing time and controlling emotional outbursts.

As a result of their symptoms, adult ADHD sufferers will avoid or strongly dislike activities that demand a sustained amount of attention. They may also struggle with significant others, who view them as scattered and disorganized, or be unable to follow rules of conversation in social situations. ADHD causes great frustration and leaves the individual feeling misunderstood. Adults usually develop drug and/or alcohol issues attempting to manage symptoms of ADHD.

Symptoms of ADHD fall into three groups:

Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are broken down into 3 categories: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Each category has specific features and must meet time constraints to be diagnosed.

Features listed in the DSM-IV-TR are:

  • Inattention
    • Forgetful in daily activities
    • Does not follow instructions
    • Easily distracted by external stimuli
    • Does listen when spoken to
  • Hyperactivity
    • Fidgets with hands or feet
    • Has difficulty quietly engaging in leisure activities
    • Talks excessively
    • Acts as if ‘driven by a motor’ or ‘on the go’
  • Impulsivity
    • Blurts out answers before a question is complete
    • Has difficulty awaiting turn
    • Interrupts or intrudes on others

Another characteristic of ADHD is the extra energy and the state of boredom that an individual with this diagnosis will describe. Inattention causes suffering individuals to change focus often, looking for something that will sustain their attention. Drugs and alcohol become the answer for some who suffer from ADHD, offering relief from the extra energy and angst this diagnosis produces.

“Data from a number of studies of adults and adolescents with substance use disorders found a mean rate of 23% of subjects with ADHD. Investigations of substance use disorders in adults with ADHD have estimated rates of alcohol use disorders to be between 17% and 45% and rates for drug abuse or dependence to be between 9% and 50%.”


Medication Treatment for ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is an imbalance in brain chemistry. ADHD symptoms will improve with medication and behavioral intervention. When an individual attempts to use substances to control symptoms of ADHD, he or she may also need treatment for addiction. Drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers for treatment for dual diagnosis of ADHD and addiction will offer medication such as:

  • Adderall
  • Concerta
  • Dexedrine
  • Ritalin
  • Strattera

Looking For Treatment?

Perhaps you have been diagnosed with ADHD but have not received relief from your symptoms. You turned to drugs and alcohol and now you are addicted. You need an integrated dual diagnosis facility to help manage your ADHD and your addiction. Recovery Connection coordinators 866.812.8231 are trained to help you find the best possible treatment for your needs. Don’t wait another moment to get your life under control. Call now and speak to people who understand your struggle.

24/7 all conversations are confidential

Related Content: