ADHD and Alcohol Abuse

ADHD and Alcohol Abuse

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder can quickly become overwhelming and stressful to those who are struggling with the symptoms that come with the disorder. There are many ways one may attempt to cope with these struggles, including substance use. Because of this, and a number of other reasons, alcohol abuse and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are all too commonly found to go hand in hand.

What is Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

ADHD is an increasingly common mental disorder that is known to impact children, although it can certainly impact adults, as well. The defining traits of ADHD are inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. There are three different types of ADHD- inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive, and combined.

An inattentive type person with ADHD will experience:

  • A short attention span
  • Avoidance of tasks that require a lot of attention
  • Has difficulty listening to others
  • Struggles to stay on task
  • Loses things often
  • Has trouble with time-management
  • Forgets things often

A hyperactive/impulsive type will experience:

  • Fidgeting
  • High activity levels
  • Difficulty sitting still
  • An inability to do activities quietly
  • A tendency to talk over or interrupt others
  • Overtalking

These two different types of ADHD come with their own sets of challenges that need to be overcome. These challenges can become overwhelming for anyone, leading to a desire to find easily accessible coping mechanisms. This is when the alcohol or other substance use may kick in.

What is an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)?

The Relationship Between ADHD and an AUD

Those with ADHD have been suggested to have a higher risk of developing AUD. Both ADHD and AUD have been associated with the development of other mental health issues, such as depression, addiction, and impulsivity.

There are many reasons a person experiencing ADHD may develop an AUD, including:

  • The fact that ADHD and AUD share similar associations on the neuropsychological, neurobiological, and genetic levels.
  • Alcohol is sometimes used as an unhealthy coping habit for those struggling with disorders like ADHD
  • Alcohol use and ADHD symptoms in adolescence can both increase the severity of each other.

Getting the Help You Need

Dealing with ADHD or an AUD singularly is difficult enough, but dealing with the two together can become overwhelming. If you believe that you may be struggling from ADHD, an AUD, or a combination of the two, we are here to help. Contact us today and we will help you get the treatment you need.

Treated combined ADHD and AUD can be more complex than treating one or the other, but our mental health professionals are here to help you get through this journey. They will work with you to develop a diagnosis, create a treatment plan, and work your way toward feeling better.


Keywords: ADHD, alcohol abuse, drinking problem, substance abuse programs near me