ADHD In Patients With Substance Addictions

ADHD in patients with substance addictions

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is becoming more and more known and therefore, research on it has increased in recent years. In this regard, it has been discovered that there is a significant correlation between suffering from ADHD and the consumption of addictive substances. To get an idea, if the percentage of adults with ADHD is 3%, this figure rises to 46% in patients with drug addictions.

These numbers being so high, it is extremely important to be able to detect this neurodevelopmental disorder as early as possible in order to address the problem with early treatment. With this, not only would impulsivity and hyperactivity be reduced, but it would also reduce the probability that the person would fall into substance abuse. Their correlation is such that a study carried out a few years ago concluded that patients with ADHD and drug addiction showed a tendency to start early and experience drug use more freely in their adolescence, compared to those addicted patients without ADHD. .

Before delving into the article, it is important to clarify that just because a child suffers from ADHD does not guarantee that they will suffer from drug problems during adolescence or adulthood. The key here is to be aware of this relationship between the two in order to establish prevention measures at home and, if necessary, seek professional help.

In today’s article, we will talk about the relationship between ADHD and patients with substance addictions. Why are people with ADHD more likely to abuse drugs? What can parents or primary caregivers do about this? If you are interested in the answers to these and other questions related to the disorder and drug addiction, keep reading.

The drugs of choice

As we have been commenting until now, Due to the great impulsivity of people with ADHD, they tend to be more vulnerable to falling into addiction. Put another way, the brains of people with this disorder are hungrier for these experiences because of the way they are neurologically oriented. Therefore, they may progress to addiction faster than neurotypical adolescents. Now, what are the drugs they consume the most?

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Based on research, marijuana is known to be the number one substance used by teens and young adults with ADHD, followed by alcohol and nicotine. After all, these people tend to choose substances that slow down their thoughts since their heads move at a very fast and exhausting pace. Therefore It is not surprising that marijuana is the most used among them, as it causes mild sedation and euphoria.

Why are people with ADHD more likely to abuse drugs?

This is a much-studied question in the area of ​​psychology and there are several theories that explain why ADHD increases the risk of substance abuse. Firstly, the impulsivity, lack of judgment and school problems that these people usually have are closely related and increase significantly in the use of addictive substances. In addition, the possibility of a genetic link between ADHD and vulnerability to developing a substance abuse disorder is being considered.

Finally, it is also hypothesized that Individuals with ADHD could try psychotropic drugs to self-medicate and this could be the beginning of a journey full of problems with substance abuse.

Why treatment should be started as soon as possible

It is crucial to highlight the importance of early treatment. Various investigations conclude that Children who receive treatment for ADHD at a younger age may be less likely to develop substance abuse disorders compared to those who start treatment later.

Therefore, it is not surprising that this information should be known by the parents or caregivers of these children. After all, through education and subsequent treatment, it is the only way to try to alleviate substance abuse later in life.

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Do ADHD medications increase the risk of drug dependence?

Stimulant medications are considered a treatment of choice for ADHD. However, there is a misconception that such medications increase the likelihood of substance use, but this is not supported by any research. But of course, extreme vigilance is recommended to avoid misuse.

What has been discovered is that short-acting stimulants tend to be abused more frequently than long-acting ones or non-stimulant medications. Therefore, it is important to maintain contact with the doctor to obtain more information and adequate follow-up.

Guidelines for parents

We have talked about the importance of parents knowing all this information in order to prevent possible use of addictive substances. Therefore, it is important to spend time analyzing What Parents or Primary Caregivers Can Do. Below are some guidelines: