June 1, 2017

A Guide to ADHD and Its Link to Addiction

ADHD - Attention, Deficit, Hyperactivity and Disorder

ADHD and Its Link to Addiction

ADHD, otherwise known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a condition that seems to be rather prevalent in today’s society, particularly among young children. Children that carry this condition are hyperactive and show very little to no control over their impulses. Similarly, they have difficulty focusing on tasks in general, and paying attention while at school. These behaviours all making life a little tough for mom, dad and teacher. As is well-known and surely common knowledge at this point, the most effective way that the white coats have conjured up to alleviate us from these behavioural aliments is to dose your child with the now household name medication, Ritalin. Ritalin, the common household name for methylphenidate [a central nervous system stimulant that is classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a schedule II drug, the same classification as cocaine, morphine and amphetamines(meth)] that is supposed to be doing you the world of benefits, may actually be your worst nightmare you never even knew about.

Outlining the Risks and Likelihood for Abuse

Experts agree and the evidence has revealed that as many as 40% of people diagnosed with ADHD develop some form of drug and/or alcohol addiction, and are found to be particularly prone to cannabis, alcohol, and stimulants such as cocaine and meth. Personally, I believe that the correlation between the addiction to stimulants and amphetamines, and the use of Ritalin is unescapable. Children that have been diagnosed with ADHD and fed stimulants since a young age, it’s no wonder they develop an addiction. Their body and mind cannot function without its regular fix. The habit forming behaviour of “popping a pill” to solve a problem is something that is learned and reinforced from a very young age. Something that becomes a subconscious habit-forming behaviour leading to full-blown addiction without even realising it.

Adults, on the other hand, that deal with the symptoms of ADHD are drawn to addiction through the self-medication of those matured symptoms. The calming effect that drugs or alcohol have on the mind may allow them to focus and concentrate better. Similarly, some of the personality traits that have been associated with ADHD, such as impulsiveness and poor social judgement, invoke the propensity to consume without fully considering the consequences. Here are some of the lesser known ADHD symptoms that effect people as they get older:

* Chronis lateness and forgetfulness
* Anxiety
* Low self-esteem
* Problems at work
* Trouble controlling anger
* Impulsiveness
* Substance abuse or addiction
* Unorganised
* Procrastination
* Chronis boredom
* Trouble concentrating when reading
* Mood swings
* Depression
* Relationship troubles

How to Prevent and Avoid This Problem

I believe that there are numerous other alternatives to the treatment of the symptoms of ADHD other than swallowing something that should not even be readily available, in my opinion. Further than the effects of the pills themselves, are the behaviours that are being taught to children about how to best deal with an unpleasant situation or experience.

Having a form of medication at your fingertips to makes the pains and pangs of life simply dissipate is not a long-term and sustainable solution or reality to be a part of. More efficient solutions do exist and need to be explored and ventured through to paint a fuller picture of the issues and concerns of the individual in question.

Regular exercise and outdoor activities is one way to expend the extra energy. They promote focus and concentration, while allowing the hyperactivity to be let loose and engaged. Sports and regular exercise are a more natural and healthier approach to dealing with the symptoms of ADHD, taking those diagnosed with this condition away from the temporary and misleading solutions that lie at the bottom of the bottle or rolled in the next note. Regular counselling and a meditation practice is another way that one can learn to deal with and manage the symptoms of ADHD as one gets older.

There really are much better ways to deal with the problems of addiction and addiction prevention. Teaching our kids from a young age to take a more natural and humane approach to healing and their health, both mental and physical, is the second step in the right. A wise man once told me that, “If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me”, and that is the first place that we can start to take better care of ourselves and our loved ones. If you want a healthy child that is a well-adjusted and stable adult, be the healthy example they can follow and emulate, and teach them a better way from the start.