Individuals who suffer from ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder often suffer from the inability to focus on a subject or task for any period of time, and also experience heightened brain activity which can make them easily excitable and hyper. There is a percentage of these individuals who also suffer from co-occurring SUD, or substance use disorder. As the name suggests, SUD is the increased chance or tendency for addiction in medications or other substances.
The most common form of treatment for ADHD patients is the pharmacotherapy options. Drugs such as variations of amphetamines have been found to be the most effect method of control brain function, allowing for individuals to concentrate longer and remain in control of their energy. However, the most effective and popular drugs to use in treatment of ADHD also happen to be addictive. ADHD patients with co- occurring SUD run a high risk of becoming addicted to the medications designed to help them with the other disorder. The problem is amplified if a patient does become addicted to the medication and abuses it on a long term or high dosed degree. Once a substantial tolerance is developed and maintained it has been found that the drugs become ineffective in treating the ADHD symptoms and solely serve a purpose to feed an addiction.
Because of this complication in dually diagnosed patients, other treatments which do not include addictive medications have been developed. One form is psychosocial treatments. These treatments do not always include medication, but rather behavioral treatments. As of yet, there is little controlled research in the effectiveness of psychosocial treatments for adults suffering from ADGD.
The methods applied in psychosocial treatment are exercises such as learning about both the disorders. By learning common symptoms, the chemical causes in the brain for the disorders and ways to overcome them are believed to be an alternative treatment in which a mind over body approach is employed. The families and other loved ones in the patient’s life are also usually brought into this form of treatment so that they can be supportive and understanding of the patient’s struggles. This is believed to help with controlling urges and inconsistencies in behavior associated with both ADHD and SUD.
CBT, or cognitive behavioral therapy is another method of treatment that focuses on structured training in mindset and habits in order to cope with the SUD aspect of a dually diagnosed patient. However, the ADHD aspect of the disorder duo has been found to cause low retention rates in the training. An additional behavioral strategy in treating patients with both ADHD and SUD is coaching in relation to behavior modification. This is similar to CBT, except there is a more collaborative relationship between a patient and a professional. In this method the professional coach, specializing in ADHD patients also suffering from SUD helps the patient to develop strategies for managing SUD related symptoms such as procrastination, time management issues and lack in organizational skills.
Unfortunately, there is yet to be a non- medicated treatment plan that has been found to completely resolve ADHD and SUD symptoms at the same time, and medication still stands at the most effective form of treatment.
Many of our licensed counselors, who have also gone through the treatment process, are still in recovery and are willing to share their first-hand experience in order to allow others to follow in their footsteps. In addition, they are able to offer valuable insight into what to expect as well as the do’s and the don’ts of addiction recovery. We treat clients from all over the world, caring for them with the dignity and respect they deserve. Our prescription drug addiction treatment program provides each individual with an opportunity to lead a new and better life by changing their emotional, physical and mental attitudes.
Florida Center for Recovery – Addiction Treatment Center: 1-800-960-5041
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