Many people who have ADHD also suffer from alcohol and drug addiction. In fact, some people even become addicted and begin to abuse their medications in conjunction with their other drugs. These two health problems are, in fact, intertwined. Many people who have ADHD turn to drugs to cope with the effects of ADHD.
Many people with ADHD take stimulants to counteract the effects of an inattentive or hyperactive mind. Even though these are often prescribed medications, they can be abused. And if you or a loved one with ADHD is addicted to stimulants, you might wonder how treatment works. Here are a few basic points about the concepts and steps used in treatment.
Should People With ADHD Who Also Have a Stimulant Addiction Continue Taking ADHD Medication?
Since the addiction to stimulants and ADHD go hand-in-hand, an integrated treatment approach with a dual diagnosis is often used. People who have ADHD sometimes have a substance abuse disorder, and sometimes the drug is a stimulant. It’s possible for people with ADHD to become addicted to stimulants like cocaine, and this poses an additional problem. Since stimulants are used to treat ADHD, should a patient with ADHD that also has an addiction to stimulants be given medications for ADHD? While
While short-term removal of ADHD medications during the withdrawal process is often done, leaving a patient off of medications for the rest of their life isn’t always the best option. One of the problems with taking a patient off of ADHD medication is that people with ADHD often turn to drugs as a way of coping with the effects of ADHD. As a consequence, people with ADHD and a stimulant substance abuse disorder often go back on ADHD medications later as part of their treatment. While it is possible to abuse ADHD medications, under supervision, it’s less likely that a person will have a relapse.
What Forms of Therapy Are Available For a Person Who Has an Addiction?
A holistic approach is often used to treat people with ADHD who are also dependent on stimulants. In a holistic approach, the entire person is treated. The therapy often centers around physical exercise, meditation, and nutrition as a means of helping people overcome their addiction. Some types of exercise can include yoga and Tai Chi. A counselor might also include massage therapy and acupuncture therapy to relieve some of the pain associated with withdrawal. Guided meditation can be used to calm the mind since anxiety is a common symptom of withdrawal. Nutrition therapy is also used because it can help you or a loved one feed your body so that it is healthy.
This therapy also gives patients something tangible to work toward. While it seems counterintuitive, other drugs are often used to treat the withdrawal symptoms in someone who is recovering from substance addiction. Because a person who has been addicted to stimulants has been relying on those drugs to feel happy, without the stimulants they begin to feel depressed. As a result, a person might be prescribed antidepressant to alleviate some of the withdrawal symptoms.
What Happens During Detox and Should You Do It Yourself?
Detox is a strenuous experience. Some of the symptoms include:
- Cravings for the drug
These symptoms can last for several weeks. People might also have suicidal thoughts, which is one of the reasons that people should seek treatment with mental healthcare professionals on hand. While some people try to quit cold turkey by themselves, this is not the best option. When you quit by yourself, you don’t have the emotional support that you need to see the process through. You are also missing out on valuable tools, such as other forms of therapy and medication, that can help you through the process.
Furthermore, you also need guidance on how to avoid relapse. And you need help determining which, if any, ADHD medications you will use in the future to use medications in a healthful manner. If you or a loved one with ADHD have an addiction to a stimulant, don’t try to go through detox alone. There is help for you if you reach out to us. We have qualified counselors who can help you through, so call 844-639-8371.