Correlation of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Substance Abuse

Jeannette | Posted on April 26, 2022 
ADHD and Substance Abuse

People with ADHD are more likely to develop drug use problems, and there seems to be a complex correlation between ADHD and substance abuse. A survey reveals that teenagers with drug abuse problems are more likely to have ADHD than the overall population. In one research on cannabis use problems, for example, 38% of individuals had ADHD. According to another study, 23% of young individuals with drug use problems also had the disease. Individuals with ADHD are about twice as likely to have a drug use disorder, and those with ADHD plus a behavior issue are four times as likely.

Correlation between ADHD and substance abuse:

Experts are unsure of the specific causes for the association between ADHD and substance abuse; however, they do have various ideas that link ADHD and drug use, including:

  • ADHD characteristics such as impulsivity, judgment difficulties, and the consequent academic obstacles may enhance an individual’s probability of starting drug use.
  • ADHD and the chance of having a drug use problem may have a hereditary relationship.
  • People who have ADHD may be tempted to self-medicate with psychoactive medications.

Furthermore, the brains of people with ADHD and SUD may have comparable anatomical characteristics, such as a reduced frontal cortex and cerebellum.

Cigarette smoking appears to impact the chance of developing drug use problems in ADHD children and adolescents. According to some studies, more than half of teenagers who smoke and have ADHD develop a drug use issue as young adults. According to a scientific study, this could be due to friends who smoke may also use other drugs. The authors also claim that nicotine usage alters the development of the brain. Children who begin ADHD therapy at an earlier age appear to be less likely to develop drug abuse problems than those who begin treatment later. Additionally, addressing mental health concerns like anxiety and depression, which frequently coexist with ADHD, is critical and may reduce an individual’s chances of getting this risk.

The link between ADHD and drug use, on the other hand, is complicated, and more studies would help explain it clearly.

Adhd Specialist

What are ADHD personality characteristics which could further lead to ADHD addiction:

ADHD is associated with the following characteristics, according to experts:

  • Impulsiveness and reward-seeking behavior
  • Anxiousness
  • Feelings such as rage, remorse, fear, and disregard

These characteristics, however, do not really explain the fundamental reasons for addiction. The following are some of the most common risk factors for ADHD addiction:

  • Substance abuse runs throughout the family
  • Parents who use or have favorable attitudes regarding drugs or alcohol
  • Problems with parental supervision or familial rejection due to gender identity or sexual-orientated friends` circle who take drugs
  • No sentiments of connection with a person’s educational struggles or academic performance
  • Sexual exploitation as a child
  • Problems with mental health

Are ADHD medicines addictive?

The possibility of abuse and addiction to ADHD medication is considerably low when a healthcare practitioner prescribes therapeutic dosages. Individuals with ADHD may be prescribed drugs by their doctors. These stimulant drugs assist patients in focusing and controlling their emotions. They must not develop an addiction or substance abuse due to ADHD as long as these people use them under the supervision of a doctor. They risk developing an addiction or drug abuse if they take them for nonmedical purposes, such as staying up to study or work.

Furthermore, there is no indication that using stimulant drugs for ADHD increases the risk of developing substance abuse later in life.

Seeking support for substance abuse:

Individuals who abuse substances have the most chance of preventing addiction or a drug use disorder if they get assistance as soon as possible. If a person has difficulty regulating their substance usage, they should consult their doctor. A doctor might propose therapy or send the patient to a specialist. Experts can now successfully treat drug use problems with minimal recurrence rates, and recovery is feasible with thorough and continuing treatment.

ADHD support:

Living with ADHD may make day-to-day living difficult, but there are certain practices that might help. Support is provided if people are experiencing difficulty controlling their ADHD signs or are prone to ADHD addiction. They would benefit from communicating with others going through the same thing.

People can get in touch with Children and Adults with ADHD to help more with their remote and in-person assistance and information. Improving ADHD awareness is crucial to your knowledge of the disorder.

See Also: What Could Cause Rapid ADHD Mood Swings In Adults

Bottom line:

ADHD and drug abuse appear to have a strong relationship. While specialists are unsure of the actual cause of the relationship, various possibilities exist. These include genetics, certain personality traits, and the use of substances to self-treat persistent ADHD symptoms. Doctors have a variety of therapies available to aid patients addicted to drugs or alcohol abuse linked with ADHD. Many people, for example, might benefit from a customized regimen that combines medicine and counseling.

Medications can help with addictions, start reducing withdrawal symptoms and keep people from relapsing into substance abuse. In addition, therapy can help people understand why they use substances, boost their self-esteem, and gain knowledge about healthy coping strategies.

People planning to raise their substance usage or feel they fulfill the requirements for substance abuse problems should see a doctor immediately as feasible. Early intervention can help people avoid substance use disorders, and with the right treatment, they can recover.

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