Thirty years ago, ADHD was not the mainstream issue that it is today. Kids might have been hyperactive, and they might not have paid attention in class. As they grew older, behavioral and addiction problems often emerged, which carried over into adulthood. Without a diagnosis, all of the behaviors might merely have been labeled as a bad kid growing into a bad adult. But much more is known now. And that includes the link between ADD and addiction.

Where co-occurring conditions exists, such as ADD and addiction, dual diagnosis treatment offers hope. By treating both conditions as part of the same problem, the person can finally begin to normalize and recover.

ADD Isn’t Just a Little Kid’s Problem

Anyone at any age can suffer from ADD or ADHD. Characteristics usually include creativity and a high level of intelligence. But the cost is severe focus impairment, the inability to stay committed to a task, and lack of self-control. And according to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report, kids who suffer from ADHD are likely to develop a substance abuse problem when they become teenagers.

As much as half of the population diagnosed with ADHD in childhood will continue to deal with the symptoms through teen and adult years. And as access to drugs and alcohol becomes easier, the risk of abusing their prescribed medication or self-medicating to feel better increases.

The Link Between ADD and Addiction

The report also explained that while teenagers in general were likely to engage in risky behavior, those with ADD or ADHD were 5 times more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. They found that the severity of ADHD in childhood was directly related to the risk of drug and alcohol abuse as teenagers.

According to WebMD, ADHD is “5-10 times more common among adult alcoholics” than it is in people who don’t abuse alcohol. It goes on to explain that because of the impulsive nature and behavioral problems of ADHD sufferers, drug and alcohol abuse are more likely.

How Dual Diagnosis Treatment Can Help

Co-occurring conditions present a challenge both for the person suffering and those who try to help. A mental health condition such as ADD is clearly linked to substance abuse in young adults. And so it’s only through diagnosing both conditions and treating them in an overlapping, integrated way that the person can recover.

Cornerstone Recovery Center in South Florida has the professional staff to diagnose ADD and addiction, and other co-occurring conditions. Our treatment approach recognizes the individuality of the patient, the unique needs of each condition, and how treatments work together to help stop the cycle.

ADD and addiction is a more common combination than many people might imagine. The uncomfortable symptoms of hyperactivity, inability to focus, lack of impulse control, fidgeting, and all of the others set a stage where alcohol and drug abuse can seep in and take over. Self-medicating isn’t the answer, dual-diagnosis treatment is.

If you or someone that you care about suffers from ADD and addiction, please call Cornerstone Recovery Center today. You can speak with us confidentially at 888-711-0354, or contact us online. We have the resources to identify co-occurring conditions and develop a treatment strategy that really works.