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At Burning Tree Ranch, we understand that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a neurological disorder that can affect your productivity, motivation, mood and behavior. Because the condition affects so many areas of your life, living with it can be challenging. In fact, many people who struggle with attention deficit disorder also suffer from a co-occurring substance abuse disorder. Understanding and addressing both issues can help you develop a treatment plan that actually works.

ADHD Symptoms

Like any health condition, ADHD affects everyone differently. Although it is often characterized by struggles with attention, it manifests differently in children and adults as well as males and females.

Some of the most common ADD symptoms include:

  • Inability to sit still
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Difficulty finishing tasks
  • Hyperactive behavior
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Forgetfulness

ADD doesn’t always produce cut-and-dry symptoms, though. The urge to start different tasks may be so strong in some people that it looks like mania. In others, it can create a sense of overwhelming paralysis, which can be confused with depression.

Many adults with ADHD struggle with job performance. However, if you also struggle with addiction, you may wonder if your forgetfulness and restlessness are related to substance abuse.

ADHD and Addiction

When ADHD isn’t diagnosed and treated properly, it can leave individuals grappling to feel stable. They may wonder why they can’t control their emotions or actions. People with undiagnosed ADHD often experience negative consequences, such as poor academic performance or behavioral struggles. However, they may be told that they just need to get focused or try harder.

But people with ADHD can’t always remedy their concerns. Even the most diligent attempts at focusing can lead to stress and confusion. Therefore, many people who struggle with ADHD use substances to manage the condition. They may abuse alcohol or other drugs to escape from the swirling thoughts or slow down their thinking.

Medications for ADHD help many people manage their symptoms. However, some of these prescription drugs are addictive. It’s important to use ADHD medication under the supervision of a doctor. Abusing the pills can lead to other uncomfortable symptoms, such as fatigue, irritability and depression.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for ADD and Addiction

ADD and addiction can occur together for several reasons. Perhaps you have become dependent on your ADHD medication and experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop using it. Maybe you have trouble maintaining relationships because you speak without thinking. Your genetics may even increase your risk for ADHD and addiction.

ADD and addiction are difficult to tease apart from each other. If you have a dual diagnosis, it’s essential to get treatment for both disorders. You’ll learn coping skills that are specific to the way that your brain operates. You’ll also develop a better awareness of what is going on in your brain and body so that you can adapt without judgement or blame.

At Burning Tree Ranch, we offer a broad range of treatment options for a dual diagnosis of ADHD and addiction. A combination of long term inpatient rehab, individual and group therapy and aftercare can help you break the cycle that has sent you into treatment before. Understanding and addressing your specific needs allows you to set the foundation for creating a life of excellence beyond sobriety.

find recovery,
not just sobriety

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LMSW, LCDC | Counselor
Kristina Robertson serves as Counselor at Burning Tree Ranch. Holding both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Social Work, Kristina’s greatest joy is “watching our clients learn to love themselves again.” An avid equestrian, mother to twenty-one horses, and all-around animal lover, Kristina serves as a bright shining example of long-term recovery in action. Her commitment to whole person health: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual makes her an invaluable member of the Burning Tree Ranch clinical team. As a distinguished Phi Theta Kappa and Alpha Zeta member, Kristina believes deeply in each client’s pursuit of becoming their best selves.

"A Message To Families"

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