Adult ADHD May Lead To Addiction

by AdamS on August 15, 2012

Studies have begun to reveal that there may be a link between adults that suffer from attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and addiction.  Most research is in reference to alcohol and nicotine addiction but according to a research study done by the Medical Council on Alcohol, the use of drugs with stimulant properties are growing amongst those that struggle with ADHD. Carl Sherman, PhD, claimed that he found fifteen percent of those with the disorder were abusing or were dependent on a substance within the last year, and needed to enter an inpatient rehab like the one found at

The Danger Of Undiagnosed Adult ADHD

Living with this disorder without getting it treated can be very dangerous because drugs affect people with this disorder differently than those that do not. For example when a person without it takes cocaine it acts as a stimulant, but when a person with ADHD uses cocaine it has a paradoxical effect that decreases their manic behavior. The feeling of relief that they get may be so satisfying that they keep using the substance. While their motives for taking stimulant drugs might be different from those using it for recreational purposes, they can still develop dangerous and life threatening addictions.

The Difficulty Of Diagnosing Adult ADHD

Diagnosing this disorder is different than the procedure to diagnose children. First of all, adult ADHD is relatively new to the medical world and is not addressed as a possible problem that is affecting other co-occurring conditions. This also means that symptoms of ADHD can be misdiagnosed as another disorder such as anxiety or depression. Another reason that people may not get treated is that although the individual has been dealing with ADHD as a child, they may have developed coping mechanisms into adulthood that leave them unaware of having a disorder that is causing their erratic behavior.

Why Adults With ADHD Might Use Drugs

Professionals believe that much of the time, adults do not realize that they have ADHD, or if they do, they do not realize that they can get treatment for it. This leaves the danger of trying to cope with the difficulties that come with the disorder such as unorganized thoughts, manic behavior, and mood swings. This particular disorder is known to lead people to behave impulsively, so abusing drugs or alcohol in a moment of high emotion would not be out of character.

It is exceedingly more common for children to be diagnosed with ADHD than it is for adults. It could be because of the various difficulties of diagnosing the disorder for adults, or it could be that the individual is aware that they are struggling with it but they are not aware that they can get professional help. If you think that you might be battling an ADHD disorder then it is important that you ask your physician about your options. If you have trying to cope with your disorder by using drugs that you have become addicted to, then there are drug rehab centers that provide addiction and dual diagnosis treatment. Go to for more information.

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