Untreated ADHD linked to addiction in kids, teens and adults
By ParentInProgress on July 09, 2014
If you think not treating your child's ADHD will only affect their grades, think again.
There's a lot of research out there about the correlations between ADHD and various kinds of addiction. Here are just a few I ran across:
1. Food addiction - The same impulsivity that leads some with ADHD to absue drugs and alchol can lead to food addiction - especially binge eating and bulimia. It's less likely in anorexia, which is more about "control" than impulsivity.
2. Alcohol and drugs - This is probably the one you've heard most about. Kids with ADHD are 1.5 times more likely to develop a substance abuse disorder; 2 times more likely to develop cocaine abuse or dependence; almost twice as likely to meet diagnostic criteria for alcohol dependence or abuse; 1.5 times more likely to meet criteria for pot use disorder
3. Gambling - There's a strong link here because gambling is an impulse disorder. I interview I read with an ADHD expert said 20 percent of pathological gamblers have ADHD. (I would have guessed much higher actually.) But that's still a high number . An analysis of data from 25 different studies found that youth with ADHD had even more risk-taking on gambling tasks than adults with ADHD. Why? It could be that youth are still going through developmental changes in their brains' reward regions.
4. Smoking - Adults with ADHD smoke at twice the rate of those without ADHd. They also smoke more (than smokers in the general population) and start earlier. In addition, youth with ADHD are 2-3 times more likely to smoke than their non-ADHD peers.
Just remember, stimulant meds aren't your only option. Do a Google search for "one-on-one brain training" to find a center near you that uses REAL PEOPLE, not computers, to train your brain!
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