Many people with ADHD self-medicate with alcohol, drugs, and tobacco since they all boost dopamine levels in the brain, a neurotransmitter associated with ADHD and one the ADD stimulant medication improve the availability of.
People who have undiagnosed and untreated ADHD are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs the general population. It seems like booze, pot, tobacco, crystal meth and coke are the favorites.
See my post Study 20% of Alcoholics had ADHD. Only 5% of adults have ADHD.
Looks like attending AA support groups + treatment improve the odds of staying sober, than just those who get treatment, according to a recent study via Psych Central
A study in the October issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research tracks individuals for 16 years who have first acknowledged their alcohol-use problems and then chosen Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), treatment, or both.
Findings indicate that people who become involved in both AA and treatment fare better than those who obtain only treatment.
We know that self-help groups, such as AA, contribute to better alcohol-related and psychosocial outcomes,” said Rudolf H. Moos, senior research career scientist for the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System in Palo Alto, California, and corresponding author for the study.
“For example, patients with alcohol use-disorders who participate in AA, and those who attend more meetings and/or participate for a longer time, are more likely to be abstinent and to maintain remission up to five years after an episode of professional treatment than patients who are not involved or less involved in such groups.
Affiliation with AA also is associated with more self-efficacy and problem-solving coping skills, and better social functioning, which are linked to better alcohol-related outcomes.
Wonder if there’s been any similar type studies on ADD support groups?
One, individuals who enter AA relatively quickly after initiating help-seeking, either alone or in conjunction with treatment, are more likely to participate in AA in the subsequent 15 years and participate in AA more frequently and for a longer duration,” said Moos.
“Two, a longer duration of participation in AA is associated with a higher likelihood of continuing remission up to 15 years later.
Three, individuals who obtain professional treatment and participate in AA in the first year after initiating help-seeking are more likely to achieve remission for up to 15 years later than are individuals who obtain professional treatment alone.
Finally, individuals who have achieved remission but who discontinue participation in AA are at increased risk for relapse; individuals who have not stopped drinking and who discontinue participation in AA are more likely to continue drinking.”
So for those who might think AA meetings aren’t important and they can “do it alone”, this might be a bit of a wake up call.
Here are some articles on ADHD and Addictions on my ADD website