addiction recovery and adhd

Treating addiction and ADHD at Choice House


Individuals with mental health conditions will sometimes attempt to “self-medicate” by turning to substances to calm their minds, boost their moods, and otherwise cope with brain chemical imbalances that can make day-to-day life difficult. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one such neurological disorder that appears to increase the odds that someone might abuse substances, with one study noting that individuals with ADHD are three times more likely to have a substance use disorder than a neurotypical individual. While these co-occurring conditions are relatively common, what’s less common is finding a recovery center that is equally qualified to treat both. Known as dual diagnosis care, effective treatment requires addressing both the substance use disorder as well as the ADHD.

symptoms of adhd

A mental health disorder associated with hyperactivity/impulsivity and inattention, ADHD is frequently diagnosed in children, but symptoms typically endure through adulthood. Adults with ADHD may experience symptoms such as:

  • Impulsiveness
  • Generalized anxiety
  • Poor concentration
  • Mood swings and extreme emotions
  • Trouble coping with stress
  • Disorganization and trouble prioritizing tasks

causes of adhd

Researchers don’t yet know exactly what causes ADHD, although they have identified a number of risk factors such as genetics, brain injury, alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy, and premature delivery, and low birth weight.

ADHD symptoms disrupt day-to-day life and as noted, often lead individuals to use drugs or alcohol to mitigate feelings of pain or uneasiness. Unfortunately, what starts as an unhealthy method of coping can sometimes lead to a substance use disorder. In addition, because the use of alcohol and some drugs can mask certain ADHD symptoms, diagnosing ADHD in someone with a substance use disorder can be difficult.

treating addiction and adhd

Treating the addiction without addressing the ADHD, however, isn’t likely to achieve long-term success. Modern mental healthcare now understands that both conditions need to be treated in tandem. This integrated treatment approach might mix therapies such as medications, cognitive behavioral therapy, individual and group counseling, and more to find the path that’s best suited for each person.

At our Colorado addiction recovery center, our experienced healthcare professionals provide effective, integrated dual diagnosis treatment to help individuals who are suffering. By working closely to understand each person’s struggles, ADHD, and addiction, we help guide them toward healthier coping mechanisms and give them the tools they need to work toward lasting recovery.

choice house can help

Located in Boulder, Colorado, Choice House offers compassionate, goal-focused dual diagnosis treatment. Through our various programs – 90-day residential treatment, Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and structured sober living – our dedicated team of licensed therapists and behavioral health professionals work with participants in group and individual settings to identify the root causes of the issues they are facing. We understand that addiction and mental health disorders such as ADHD always involve more than the behaviors themselves, and we offer an integrated treatment approach that addresses both conditions simultaneously.