Are ADHD Children at Higher Risk for Addiction?

Are ADHD Children at Higher Risk for Addiction?

Did you know that ADHD children are at a higher risk to develop an addiction than other children?

According to Edward Hallowell, MD, child and adult psychiatrist and author of Superparenting for ADD: An Innovative Approach to Raising Your Distracted Child, “Addiction and use problems are eight times more common in the ADD population. People with ADD are way more prone to all kinds of issues related to addiction and compulsion. Besides misusing drugs and alcohol, they may compulsively shop, eat, gamble and have sex.”

Since ADHD children often need to go to extraordinary lengths to get pleasure and to stay entertained, many end up finding themselves needing the help from a New York drug rehab program by the time they are adults. Make sure you are aware of your ADHD child’s risk factors for developing an addiction later on in life with this list from Treatment Alternatives New York.

Co-occurring Problems. If your child has ADHD coupled with anger management issues, a general disregard for authority, mood disorders, and depression, they are at high risk to develop a substance abuse problem. As they get older, they may use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate their symptoms, which will only exasperate the problem in the long run.

Academic Underachievement. A common occurrence in ADHD children is that they underperform in school. Timothy Edwin Wilens, MD, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, shares that ADHD children who do not receive the proper treatment tend to “academically underperform and subsequently have self-esteem issues or don’t feel good about themselves.” As a result, the low self-esteem can lead to needing the help of a New York drug rehab program.

Undiagnosed ADHD. Throughout recent years it has been discovered that almost 60 percent of adolescents who need the help of a New York drug treatment program also have ADHD. Wilens confirms this by stating that, “In our Addiction Recovery Management Service program at Mass General, we find that 65 percent of them have ADHD.” More often than not, symptoms of ADHD appear long before the substance abuse starts; while this eventually leads to ADHD children abusing drugs and alcohol as a way to deal with their symptoms, the addiction is best handled once the ADHD is treated.

Family History. Recent findings have discovered that parents of kids with ADHD have a high rate of substance abuse disorder. Coupled with the research done on ADHD children, this indicates that there is a genetic relationship between drug and alcohol abuse and the hyperactivity disorder. As a result, these findings make it even more important to disclose family history upon admittance to Treatment Alternatives New York; this way, all bases are covered when treating the crux of the problem.

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