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ADHD and Addiction

Individuals with ADHD may be struggling with a substance abuse issue as a way to cope with their mental condition. Find out how to locate a treatment program that actively addresses both disorders.

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New England Recovery & Wellness

Concord, NH

Multiple Levels of Care


Recovery Unplugged Lake Worth Detox, Rehab, and Treatment Center

Lake Worth, FL

Multiple Levels of Care


Recovering Champions

Falmouth, MA



Moonlight Mountain Recovery – Nampa

Nampa, ID

Multiple Levels of Care


Dana Point Rehab Campus

Dana Point, CA

Multiple Levels of Care


Recovery Unplugged – Harrison House of Northern Virginia

Annandale, VA

Multiple Levels of Care


1st Step Behavioral Health

Pompano Beach, FL

Full Spectrum of Care


Northlake Behavioral Health System

Baton Rouge, LA

Full Spectrum of Care


United Recovery Project

Hollywood, FL

Multiple Levels of Care


White Deer Run

Allenwood, PA

Multiple Levels of Care


Northbound Treatment Services – San Diego

Irvine, CA

Full Spectrum of Care


Cross Creek Hospital

Austin, TX

Multiple Levels of Care


America’s Rehab Campuses

Tucson, AZ

Multiple Levels of Care


Boca Recovery Center – Florida

Boca Raton, FL

Full Spectrum of Care


SOBA New Jersey

New Brunswick, NJ

Multiple Levels of Care


Oasis Behavioral Health Hospital

Chandler, AZ

Multiple Levels of Care


Recovery Unplugged – Austin Detox

Austin, TX



Lakeland Behavioral Health System

Springfield, MO

Multiple Levels of Care


Vermilion Behavioral Health Systems

Lafayette, LA

Multiple Levels of Care


Pinnacle Peak Recovery

Scottsdale, AZ

Multiple Levels of Care


CNV Detox

Los Angeles, CA



Colorado Medicated Assisted Recovery

Thornton, CO

Intensive Outpatient


Bedrock Recovery Center

Canton, MA

Multiple Levels of Care


Northeast Addiction Treatment Center

Quincy, MA

Multiple Levels of Care


Annie’s House

Draper, UT

Full Spectrum of Care


Amethyst Recovery

Port St. Lucie, FL

Multiple Levels of Care


Riverwalk Ranch

Mansfield, TX

Multiple Levels of Care


Riverwoods Behavioral Health System

Riverdale, GA

Multiple Levels of Care


Lakeview Behavioral Health Hospital

Norcross, GA

Multiple Levels of Care


JourneyPure – Tennessee

Knoxville, TN

Multiple Levels of Care

(844) 899-9541

Oceanside Malibu

Malibu, CA

Full Spectrum of Care


Boca Recovery Center – New Jersey

Galloway, NJ

Full Spectrum of Care


SUWS of the Carolinas

Old Fort, NC



MeadowWood Behavioral Health

New Castle, DE

Multiple Levels of Care


Harbor Oaks Hospital

New Balitmore, MI



Moonlight Mountain Recovery

Pocatello, ID

Multiple Levels of Care


Acadiana Treatment Center

Sunset, LA

Multiple Levels of Care


Mount Regis Center

Salem, VA

Multiple Levels of Care


St. John’s Recovery Place – Deland

Deland, FL

Multiple Levels of Care


The Haven Detox

West Palm Beach, FL

Multiple Levels of Care


Denver Recovery Center

Denver, CO

Full Spectrum of Care


Bowling Green Brandywine

Kennett Square, PA

Multiple Levels of Care


Steps Recovery Center

Payson, UT

Full Spectrum of Care


Clear Life Recovery

Costa Mesa, CA

Full Spectrum of Care


Recovery Unplugged Fort Lauderdale

Fourt Lauderdale, FL

Full Spectrum of Care


Steps Recovery Center – St. George

St. George, UT

Full Spectrum of Care


The Recovery Team

Lake Park, FL

Multiple Levels of Care


Indiana Center for Recovery

Bloomington, IN

Full Spectrum of Care


Recovery Unplugged Austin Rehab Center

Austin, TX

Multiple Levels of Care


The Poseidon Method

Mykonos, Greece

Full Spectrum of Care


North Palm Beach Recovery Center

North Palm Beach, FL

Multiple Levels of Care


Greenleaf Behavioral Health Hospital

Valdosta, GA

Multiple Levels of Care


Northbound Treatment Services

Irvine, CA

Full Spectrum of Care


Asheville Recovery Center

Asheville, NC

Multiple Levels of Care


Pocono Mountain Recovery Center

Henryville, PA

Multiple Levels of Care


The Hope House – Scottsdale

Scottsdale, AZ



Silver Lining Recovery

Huntington Beach, CA

Multiple Levels of Care


Asana Recovery

Costa Mesa, CA

Multiple Levels of Care


St. John’s Recovery Place – Beachside

Cocoa Beach, FL

Multiple Levels of Care


Timberline Knolls Treatment Center for Women

Lemont, IL

Multiple Levels of Care


St. John’s Recovery Place – Crescent City

Crescent City, FL

Multiple Levels of Care


Willow Lane Health – Telehealth Addiction Treatment Services

Charlotte, NC



Northlake Recovery

Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Multiple Levels of Care


Understanding ADHD and Substance Abuse

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder that is typically diagnosed during childhood and may last into adulthood. ADHD is typically associated with difficulty paying attention, staying still, coping with boredom and tedious tasks, and controlling impulsive behaviors.

Individuals with ADHD tend to be overly active and have trouble paying attention and controlling impulsive behavior.

Those who have ADHD may be more inclined to use drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with the symptoms that come with this disorder. Others may be prescribed stimulants to treat ADHD and become hooked. Either can lead to a cycle of addiction that is hard to diagnose or treat without professional help.

Approximately 25 percent of adults that go to a treatment center for alcohol and substance abuse also live with ADHD.

There are various treatment programs that focus on addressing both ADHD and addiction simultaneously. Addiction treatment programs for individuals with ADHD emphasize a dual diagnosis approach and utilize various types of therapy to allow for healing and healthy habits to take form.

How Does ADHD Develop?

There are several things that can affect someone’s chance of developing ADHD, including:

  • Genetics

    Heredity is the most common cause of ADHD. Children with ADHD are four times as likely to have a family member also diagnosed with ADHD.

  • Exposure to Toxic Substances

    Researchers have found a connection between mothers who used tobacco products or alcohol during pregnancy and the development of ADHD in their children. Lead exposure has also been linked to hyperactivity.

  • Trauma

    Injury to the brain, a brain tumor, stroke or disease can cause inattention and poor regulation of motor activity and impulses. This is an uncommon cause of ADHD.

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ADHD and Addiction

ADHD can have a negative impact on academic or work performance and may hinder social development. Many people living with ADHD turn to substance abuse as a way to combat these effects. Research has shown that about 21 percent of males with ADHD and 13 percent of females with ADHD abuse drugs or alcohol. People with ADHD may be inclined to abuse drugs or alcohol to make up for the lack of dopamine in their brains, as they have lower levels of the chemical than people who don’t have ADHD.

Treating ADHD and substance abuse can be challenging because the medications used to treat ADHD can also become habit-forming. Stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall are often effective at managing symptoms, but they also have a high potential for abuse. During treatment, it is imperative to monitor both issues at the same time.

I think everybody in the field agrees, if you can get a toehold on the addiction, you should think about treating the ADHD relatively quickly. If you treat ADHD aggressively and you monitor for substance abuse, you’re going to reduce [delinquency].

- Dr. Howard Schubiner, ADHD researcher

A multidimensional approach to treatment can help those living with ADHD and a substance use disorder find long-term healing.

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ADHD Symptoms and Effects

The symptoms and development of ADHD vary from person to person, as some will show symptoms that others lack based on the type of ADHD that is present.

The core characteristics of this disorder fall into three categories:

  • Lack of ability to pay attention or focus
  • Hyperactive behavior or constant physical activity
  • Impulsive behavior

Within these three categories, there are various behavioral patterns that meet the criteria of ADHD:

  • Difficulty finishing tasks
  • Problems listening to others
  • Struggles with organizing projects or responsibilities
  • Forgetfulness
  • Being easily distracted
  • Constant fidgeting
  • Inability to control speech or actions
  • Frequently losing or misplacing personal items

Adults with ADHD often have trouble performing adequately at work. They can feel chronically disorganized and misplace important items needed to complete a task. They also might forget appointments or overlook social commitments. Relationship problems may also develop, as individuals with ADHD are inclined to make offhanded remarks without thinking, or they fail to pay attention to others because they are distracted. These frustrations in life may cause those with ADHD to abuse alcohol or drugs as a way to relax, fit in socially or slow down and escape.

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Addiction and ADHD Treatment

Addiction and ADHD can be treated simultaneously through a dual diagnosis program. It’s important to treat both disorders at once, as the cycle of frustration with ADHD can lead to self-medication with alcohol or drugs.

Counseling, family therapy, self-help groups and holistic therapy are the core components of a successful recovery program for individuals with ADHD. A secure and supportive environment is provided in addiction treatment to promote healing while in recovery.

A dual diagnosis program focuses on:

  • Modifying destructive thoughts and behaviors that promote substance abuse
  • Building self-esteem and encouraging internal motivation
  • Controlling the symptoms of ADHD through behavioral modification and medication therapy
  • Identifying substance abuse triggers and learning how to manage impulses
  • Educating partners and family members about ADHD

Dual diagnosis programs assist with managing the symptoms of ADHD and modifying the individual’s responses and triggers while in recovery. This will allow people struggling with ADHD and addiction to live a healthy, functional life, without being dependent on any substance.

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If you or your loved one has ADHD and is struggling with substance abuse, please contact a dedicated treatment provider for help.


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