Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental health disorders. Approximately six million people are affected by ADHD. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Boys (13%) are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls (6%).” Most individuals with ADHD have co-occurring disorders. Professional mental health treatment provides the best outcomes for individuals diagnosed with ADHD. Exclusive Hawaii Rehab uses evidence-based methods to treat ADHD and co-occurring conditions.

What Is ADHD?

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder generally diagnosed during childhood. Individuals with ADHD experience a variety of symptoms affecting their ability to focus and control disruptive behavior. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is exhibited by not being able to focus, being overactive, not being able to control behavior, or a combination of these.”

Below are the three primary types of ADHD:

  • Mostly Inattentive ADHD: People with this type of ADHD are highly distractible and have difficulty following instructions or staying on task.
  • Mostly Hyperactive/Impulsive ADHD: People with this type of ADHD often fidget excessively and may act impulsively without thinking through the consequences.
  • Combined ADHD: People with this type of ADHD experience all symptoms related to inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

Combined ADHD is the most common form of the disorder.

ADHD and Substance Abuse

Many people with substance use disorder (SUD) have co-occurring ADHD. According to Current Psychiatry Reports, one comprehensive study on SUD reported “40 % of subjects screened positive for ADHD.” People who engage in substance abuse early in life have an increased risk of being diagnosed with ADHD.

The symptoms of unmanaged ADHD make it difficult for some people to recover from SUD. Part of treatment involves identifying and addressing any co-occurring mental health issues or disorders, including ADHD. Exclusive Hawaii Rehab uses prescription medication, psychotherapy, and natural healing to help clients manage the symptoms and side effects of ADHD during treatment and aftercare.

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Potential Side Effects of Untreated ADHD

Untreated or unmanaged ADHD has the potential to affect all areas of a person’s life. Symptoms and side effects of the disorder may impact the following:

  • Relationships
  • Career goals
  • Education
  • Financial stability
  • Mental health
  • Family dynamics
  • Ability to learn new skills

ADHD impacts memory, motivation, energy levels, and executive function. The side effects of untreated ADHD may cause some people to develop maladaptive coping mechanisms, including substance abuse, to manage everyday stressors and responsibilities. Professional mental health treatment for ADHD reduces the risk of a person developing SUD.

Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of ADHD vary considerably from person to person and exist along a spectrum. Some of the most common symptoms of ADHD include:

  • Extreme difficulty focusing or being hyper-focused on a single task
  • Excitable
  • Impulsive
  • Hyperactive
  • Frequently repeating words or phrases
  • Memory problems
  • Absentmindedness and frequent forgetfulness
  • Irritation or anger issues

Three primary signs of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behaviors. The combination affects a person’s quality of life and ability to function. Most people are diagnosed with ADHD in childhood. Symptoms may manifest differently for adults. According to the CDC, “[I]n adults, hyperactivity may appear as extreme restlessness or wearing others out with their activity.”

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Our deeply-caring staff and the surrounding natural beauty offer an unparalleled healing experience.

Risk Factors for Developing ADHD

The exact causes of ADHD are unknown. However, researchers believe multiple factors may play a role in whether an individual is diagnosed with ADHD. Diagnosis is often complicated by the fact that most people with ADHD have more than one mental health disorder.

According to the CDC, “In addition to genetics, scientists are studying other possible causes [of ADHD] and risk factors including:

  • Brain injury
  • Exposure to environmental risks (e.g., lead) during pregnancy or at a young age
  • Alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy
  • Premature delivery
  • Low birth weight

There is currently no evidence that parenting style, entertainment choices, family dynamics, diet, or socioeconomic status play a significant role in the development of ADHD.

Treatment Options at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab

Clients at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab undergo comprehensive admission assessments and screenings to ensure clinicians have an accurate diagnosis of ADHD and any co-occurring disorders. Symptoms and side effects of co-occurring disorders impact which treatment programs and services provide the best outcomes.

Some of the treatment options and services used to address ADHD include:

  • Group and individual therapy
  • Peer support
  • Family therapy
  • Prescription medication
  • Aftercare planning
  • Alumni support services

Clients with ADHD may have difficulty focusing on recovery and staying motivated. In addition, individuals with co-occurring substance abuse or other conditions sometimes face significant challenges. The care team has decades of combined experience guiding clients through the recovery process. Individuals with ADHD can rely on Exclusive Hawaii Rehab to help them navigate treatment and aftercare.

Supporting a Loved One With ADHD

Many families have loved ones struggling with ADHD. Untreated ADHD has the potential to negatively impact relationships, financial stability, productivity at work or school, and mental health.

Families support their loved ones by doing the following:

  • Practicing patience, empathy, and compassion
  • Being nonjudgmental about symptoms and side effects
  • Providing practical support, including medication reminders
  • Being willing to make changes to accommodate symptoms

Exclusive Hawaii Rehab helps clients and their loved ones find healthy ways to manage their condition and heal together.