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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Substance Abuse Treatment Near Me

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders that affect children.1 This condition, although diagnosed in childhood, often lasts throughout a person’s life.1 People with ADHD may also have co-occurring substance use disorder. In fact, research shows that people who come into a substance abuse treatment center are often diagnosed with ADHD, though whether ADHD and substance abuse cause each other is still unknown.2 If you’re struggling with ADHD and substance abuse, knowing the signs of the conditions, how they’re treated, and how to find ADHD treatment near you can help you find recovery.

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is most commonly noticed and diagnosed in children.1 It affects how a child’s brain develops and grows. ADHD is recognized in the DSM-5 as a disabling condition; there is no known cure.2, 3 However, with proper treatment, people can manage the symptoms.3

Although many children may behave in ways that emulate the symptoms of ADHD, a diagnosis is given by a medical professional, and usually only applies when the symptoms of ADHD are posing severe disruptions to the child’s daily life. These symptoms may include the following:2

  • Having daydreams that lead to careless mistakes.
  • Disorganized behvaiors.
  • Being easily distracted.
  • Having difficulty sitting still (fidgets constantly).
  • Interrupting others while they are talking.
  • Impulsivity.
  • Impatience.
  • Forgetfulness.
  • Having difficulty focusing on mentally stressful tasks.

In order to have an official diagnosis, the child needs to meet the criteria of the DSM-5, which includes having a certain number of symptoms, and these symptoms must interfere with their quality of life.2 There are 3 main types of ADHD, which are based on the main symptoms the person has. These ADHD types are:

  • Predominantly inattentive presentation.
  • Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation.
  • Combined presentation.

What is Substance Abuse?

Substance abuse is the act of problematically using substances, such as alcohol or other drugs, despite negative consequences. While substance abuse can be difficult to classify, there are various symptoms and behaviors that may indicate one is abusing substance. Some warning signs of substance abuse may include:4

  • Using more of the substance over time.
  • Continuously using the substance even if it disrupts your life.
  • A lot of time and energy is spent dealing with the substance (either trying to obtain it, thinking about doing it, recovering from it, or feeling its effects).
  • Having interpersonal problems due to the substance use.
  • Developing strong cravings for more of the substance.

If a person uses a legal or illegal substance regularly, their body may come to depend on it. In addition, the brain also receives a flood of chemicals that produce positive and happy feelings.4 These feelings are akin to “rewards” to the brain, which induce you to keep taking the drug.4 This reinforcement can cause substance abuse to spiral into a substance use disorder (SUD), commonly known as an addiction.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition (DSM-5) has eleven criteria used in the diagnosis for substance use disorder: 4, 5

  • Use of the substance is becoming hazardous.
  • Interpersonal problems due to substance use.
  • Neglecting major roles in life due to substance use.
  • It has led to legal problems.
  • Stopping substance results in withdrawal.
  • Tolerance to the substance.
  • Using larger amounts of the substance than before.
  • Tried to quit using the substance several times.
  • Spending a lot of time using the substance or obtaining it.
  • The substance is causing other psychical or psychological problems.
  • Giving up activities to do the substance.

If you have more than 2 of these in a 12-month period, then you may the criteria for a substance use disorder. The severity of one’s SUD may increase with the number of criteria met, with mild cases meeting 2 criteria and severe cases meeting 6 or more criteria.4

Connection between ADHD and Substance Abuse

ADHD and substance abuse can be diagnosed in an individual at the same time: this is known as having co-occurring disorders. Research is beginning to shed light on how ADHD and substance abuse interact with one another. One study reveals that approximately two-thirds of young people in substance abuse treatment were also diagnosed with ADHD.6 Research indicates that children with ADHD were at increased risk of abusing substances like alcohol, marijuana, nicotine, and cocaine.6 Marijuana and alcohol (or a combination of these two together) are the two most prevalent substances abused by young people with ADHD.7 The prevalence of ADHD and SUDs as co-occurring disorders highlights the need for dual diagnosis treatment, or a treatment that addresses both conditions simultaneously.

Rehab Programs and Options for Dual Diagnosis Treatment.

Treating both ADHD and substance use disorder simultaneously through a dual diagnosis treatment program can lead to better results for the patient.7 By obtaining ADHD and substance abuse treatment in tandem, you receive a personalized plan. Each individual is unique and requires an ADHD residential treatment program that will target their needs. This may include various types of therapies, detox, and medication-assisted treatment in order to treat all aspects of ADHD and substance abuse.

ADHD inpatient treatment centers are ideal for someone who is dealing with a co-occurring condition involving ADHD and substance use disorder. During treatment, you will receive 24-hour a day assistance in a residential, comfortable setting.8 The setting in an inpatient treatment center is very structured, with therapy throughout the day and supervised detox to ensure a safe process.8 Usually, a residential ADHD treatment program will last at least three months, and long-term residential care can extend to twelve months.8 Outpatient programs can also be helpful for those struggling with ADHD and substance abuse, though don’t offer on-site housing and tend to be less intensive.

Does Insurance Cover ADHD and substance abuse treatment?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires health providers to cover “essential benefits,” which include mental health and substance abuse treatments.9 Whatever insurance plan you have, there are two important steps to take before going into treatment. First, speak with a medical professional to determine what your treatment goals and needs are. Second, check the degree of coverage your insurance plan offers. To determine your coverage, reach out to your insurance provider or check your coverage online.

How to Find ADHD Treatment Centers Near Me

If you are struggling with ADHD and substance abuse finding the best treatment center is a vital part of moving forward to find healing. Here are the top things to look for in a rehab facility:

  • Make sure the rehab offers a robust dual diagnosis treatment plan.
  • Check for varying levels of treatment programs.
  • Ensure they have programs specific to your situation.
  • Ask about payment plans and options.
  • Make sure they have a wide range of therapy regimens.

You may want to consider traveling to another location to find the right place for treatment. Some people benefit by getting away from where they live because of toxic people or environments. However, others may want to find treatment centers closer to home in order to stay connected with family and friends. Whether you’re looking for ADHD and substance abuse treatment near you or out-of-state, there are several online treatment directories that can help you with your search.

  • Treatment Directory.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

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