People with ADHD are more likely to have behavioral problems such as “impulsivity,” which may lead to drug abuse and addiction. Studies have shown a strong link between people with ADHD and drug abuse. For example, ADHD is 5 to 10 times more common in adult alcoholics than people without ADHD. Those who seek treatment in a rehab facility for alcoholism or drug abuse make up 25 percent of all patients in addiction treatment. Susceptibility to addiction and drug abuse is definitely a factor to consider when dealing with ADHD in people.
There is even concern that ADHD medications are themselves addictive and abuse-prone, such as Ritalin. (Ritalin is able to increase energy and focus, due to raising levels of dopamine in the brain). The effects of Ritalin can result in a feeling of pleasure, also affecting emotion; so yes, you can get high from certain ADHD medications. If that’s the case, then people with ADHD have to be extra careful when it comes to the application of drug treatment.
However, despite valid concerns, research has shown that there is no particular link between using ADHD medications and an increased vulnerability to drug-abuse behavior. In fact, the opposite results were found: the earlier subjects started using ADHD medications, the least likely they were to abuse drugs later on in life; scientists suspect the reason is that stimulant use actually treats symptoms of ADHD that can lead to drug abuse later on in life. If that’s the case, ADHD medications in children can be applied as a preventative measure for drug abuse and addiction when reaching the teen/young adult stage.
For more information on how to arrange an intervention for your loved one, contact us at:
Florida Center for Recovery – Addiction Treatment Center: 866-910-0417
Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Recovery