A Life Story Includes The Notions Of Self-Esteem And Self-Image People With ADHD Likely to Have a Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorder, Says New Study

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People With ADHD Likely to Have a Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorder, Says New Study

Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health condition involving a complex combination of symptoms, such as impulsive behavior, difficulty concentrating, and hyperactivity. ADHD in adults can cause strained relationships, poor performance at work, inability to take responsibility, and low self-esteem or self-worth.

ADHD in adults usually begins in childhood, as childhood ADHD may go undiagnosed and the condition may persist into adulthood. However, in adult ADHD, symptoms may not be as prevalent as in childhood ADHD. In adults, restlessness, impulsiveness and difficulty concentrating are some of the main symptoms.

Some common adult ADHD symptoms may include::

  • Prioritize chaos and problems

  • emotionality

  • Trouble focusing on a task

  • Poor time management skills

  • Problems with multitasking

  • Difficulty coping with stress

  • Excessive activity or restlessness

  • Poor planning

  • Frequent mood swings

  • Low frustration tolerance

  • hot temper

  • Trouble getting things done

Now, a new study suggests that nearly 50 percent of patients diagnosed with ADHD were also diagnosed with co-occurring substance abuse problems.

Norepinephrine and dopamine are two neurotransmitters that play an important role in people struggling with ADHD. These hormones are responsible for promoting a happy mood and de-stressing a person. People struggling with imbalances of this neurotransmitter struggle to improve their mood. They experience overwhelming emotions and extreme feelings of inner sadness and emptiness, for which they turn to drugs or alcohol to numb their emotional pain.

ADHD patients with a history of anxiety and depression are at increased risk for substance abuse.

According to a new Canadian study that included 6,872 participants from Canada between the ages of 20 and 39, it was found that people with ADHD, about 270 participants, were diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder. The study also showed that alcohol was the most preferred drug, followed by THC marijuana.

About one in three adults with ADHD have been addicted to alcohol in their lifetime. Moreover, one in six adults has struggled with other illicit drugs, including heroin and cocaine, the study found.

ADHD is thought to result from faulty activity in the brain’s frontal cortex, an area that affects the body’s behavioral control. This includes the brain’s ability to manage mood, time, decision making, focus or staying motivated to complete any task.

According to author Esme Fuller-Thomson, who is known for her work published in the Journal of Alcohol and Alcoholism, “People suffering from ADHD may self-medicate with alcohol and drugs to numb their depression, and this is a surefire recipe for disaster.” Esme Fuller- Thomson is a social work researcher at the University of Toronto. He is also the director of the Institute for Life Course and Aging. His studies underscore the need for significant interventions to treat substance use disorders in those with ADHD.

Research also suggests that hyperactivity, a major symptom of ADHD, can be moderated within a few weeks of treatment. Therefore, treatment targeting substance abuse alone does not seem to work with ADHD patients.

On the other hand, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), along with substance abuse treatment medications are ideal for patients with ADHD and substance abuse disorders.

Need help?

Coping with ADHD and substance abuse at the same time can be a difficult situation for you and your family. When you suffer from a mental health condition or substance abuse disorder, you’re not the only one who feels pain. Your loved ones also endure a lot of turmoil.

Therefore, it is advisable to seek treatment as soon as possible and put an end to this ordeal. We, at Invictus Health Group, focus on providing individualized treatment plans for patients dealing with mental health issues and substance use disorders. We provide evidence-based therapies, inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, and substance abuse treatment programs.

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