It is often observed that patients suffering from alcohol use disorder also suffer from an underlying mental health condition. One of those mental health conditions is ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. ADHD is a rather common disorder diagnosed in children. It has been recorded that about 10% of children and 4% of adults suffer from ADHD.
Adults with ADHD since their childhood are also likely to abuse alcohol in their lives. Both these disorders share a strong link. Let’s know more about the same.
What is ADHD?
ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurological disorder that affects the portion of the brain which is responsible for executive functions. These executive functions include
- Impulse control
- Emotion regulation
ADHD can be further divided into three subtypes: the hyperactive type commonly observed in children, the inattentive type common among adults, and a combination of both. The exact reasons for ADHD aren’t clear yet but some risk factors include the following:
- Genetics and family history
- Premature birth and difficult pregnancy
- Faulty neural pathways
- Exposure to toxins like pesticides
- Exposure to substances when in the uterus
All of this can lead to developing ADHD. Since impulse control and decision-making skills weaken due to this disorder, individuals easily begin to consume alcohol. This behavior often leads to alcohol use disorder.
Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder or AUD
A few common signs of alcohol use disorder likely to be observed in individuals also suffering from ADHD are:
- Binge drinking and blackouts
- Unable to contain or restrict drinking
- Increased alcohol tolerance
- Prioritizing alcohol over other activities
- Hiding alcohol
- Neglecting responsibilities
- Unable to stop drinking despite knowing the consequences
- Alcohol cravings
- Engaging in impulsive behaviors
- Withdrawal symptoms
When more than one of these signs is observed, the individual is sure to be suffering from AUD along with ADHD.
Risks Involved in ADHD and Alcohol Use Disorder
Alcohol abuse and ADHD when mixed can lead to several risks. Those are:
- Increase the inattentive and impulsive symptoms
- Early sexual activity, STDs, and unplanned pregnancy among teens
- Engaging in legal matters
- Causing other health issues as a result of mixing alcohol and ADHD meds
Treatments for ADHD and AUD
The dual diagnosis for ADHD and AUD involves:
- Medical detox
- Congitive behavioral therapy
- Group therapy
- Holistic methods