ADD or ADHD and Addiction Therapy at Banyan Chicago

Poor mental health and mental illness can have a larger impact on people’s lives than many people realize. It can not only affect how they feel but also lead to a series of secondary issues. In the case of ADHD, these ancillary problems can become as severe as the development of a substance abuse disorder.

What Are ADD and ADHD?

Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is an outdated term that is now referred to as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD is a behavioral disorder that is usually characterized by persistent poor self-control and problems with paying attention that can interfere with normal function. Symptoms of ADHD often begin in childhood and can persist through adulthood. While there is no cure for this disorder, proper ADHD treatment can help manage these symptoms.

Some common signs and symptoms of ADD and ADHD include:

    • Poor concentration
    • Making careless mistakes often
    • High distractibility
    • Poor organizational skills
    • Excessive fidgeting
    • Impulsivity
    • Forgetfulness
    • Racing thoughts
    • Rapid speech
    • Frequent daydreaming

    The Connection Between ADHD and Addiction

    When someone is diagnosed with ADHD, a doctor will typically prescribe medications like amphetamines that are meant to counteract and manage these symptoms. The most common ADHD medications are Vyvanse, Ritalin, and of course, Adderall. Unfortunately, amphetamines can also be abused and are addictive with frequent misuse. Long-term or carless takers of these medications could lead to an amphetamine addiction. When this occurs, these people often need ADHD and addiction treatment to determine the next best course of action.

    There are several people who are diagnosed with ADHD at a young age and begin taking stimulants in childhood, but the ADHD prescription medications can be addictive for users of any age. In some cases, there may even be people who were never diagnosed but are still taking these medications unprescribed. Without careful monitoring, these people may become addicted.

    It is not just an Adderall addiction that can occur. People with ADHD symptoms, whether or not they are formally diagnosed with the disorder, may turn to alcohol and other drugs to cope with these symptoms and self-medicate. When this pattern of behavior continues, an addiction may develop.

    This combination of a mental health problem and substance abuse disorder is known as a co-occurring disorder and can lead to serious problems in various aspects of a person’s life. No matter the case, it is crucial that ADHD and addiction treatment is used to help the person work through both problems. Our Chicago dual diagnosis rehab can help do just that and create a better future for themselves.

    Does ADHD Make You More Prone to Addiction?

    Individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may be more prone to substance use disorders and addiction compared to those without ADHD. Several factors contribute to this increased vulnerability:

    • Impulsivity:
      • ADHD is often characterized by impulsivity, making individuals more likely to engage in risky behaviors, including substance use.
    • Difficulty in Self-Regulation:
      • People with ADHD may struggle with self-regulation, finding it challenging to manage their emotions and behaviors.
      • This difficulty in emotional regulation can contribute to seeking substances as a way to cope with intense emotions.
    • Risk-Taking Behavior:
      • The impulsive nature of ADHD can lead to a higher propensity for engaging in risk-taking behaviors, including experimenting with drugs or alcohol.
    • Seeking Dopamine Stimulation:
      • Individuals with ADHD may have lower levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward.
      • Substance use can temporarily boost dopamine levels, potentially making individuals with ADHD more susceptible to the rewarding effects of drugs.
    • Self-Medication:
      • Some individuals with ADHD may use substances as a form of self-medication to alleviate symptoms such as restlessness, impulsivity, and difficulty concentrating.
    • Co-Occurring Mental Health Conditions:
      • ADHD often coexists with other mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety.
      • The presence of multiple conditions can complicate treatment and increase the risk of substance use as a way to cope with overlapping symptoms.

    It's important to note that not everyone with ADHD will develop a substance use disorder, and various protective factors, including supportive environments, effective coping strategies, and early intervention, can mitigate the risk.

    For individuals with ADHD and substance use concerns, a comprehensive treatment approach is crucial. This may involve addressing both ADHD symptoms and substance use through behavioral therapies, counseling, and, in some cases, medication management. Early identification and intervention can significantly improve outcomes for individuals with ADHD who are at risk of developing substance use disorders.

    ADHD & Substance Abuse Treatment in Chicago

    At Banyan Chicago, we know that regardless of how the addiction occurs, you need to get help sooner rather than later, especially when mental health is involved.

    ADHD and addiction recovery requires intense addiction treatment therapies. This programming includes group and individual therapy as well as education. Patients will not only learn several productive ways of coping with their issues that do not include drugs or alcohol, but they will also be taught relapse prevention techniques to keep them on track once their programs are complete. We also offer group therapy for families of addicts to help both the person in recovery and their family members get a better understanding of the behavioral disorder as well as the disease of addiction. All of these programs are led by dedicated staff members, who are experts in their respective fields, in small patient to staff ratios.


    Recovery is possible. If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health disorder and substance abuse, contact us today.

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    Most Insurance Plans Accepted

    At Banyan Chicago our goal is to make sure that anyone who needs treatment from drug and alcohol addiction are able to get the help needed to assist them on the road to recovery. If you don't have insurance contact us to inquire about alternate methods regarding treatment for yourself or a loved one.

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