Depending upon the research study, between 21% and 53% of adults with ADHD will experience alcohol dependence or abuse at some point in their lifetime. And, turning it around, it’s been estimated that 25 percent of adults receiving treatment for alcohol and other drug abuse have also been diagnosed with ADHD, which leads experts to believe that there’s an important link between ADHD symptoms, ADHD treatment, and substance abuse.
Because the healing that comes with recovery often clears your mind and gives you a new perspective on life, it’s possible that you hadn’t even noticed you suffer the signs of ADHD until now. It’s common for the effects of substance abuse to mask the symptoms of ADHD and other disorders, but a late diagnosis is better than none at all.
Whether you’re new to overcoming ADHD or have been living with it long before your recovery journey, there’s a few things you should keep in mind for staying healthy and happy when you’re dealing with recovery and ADHD at the same time.
Get Proper Treatment
You must be honest with your doctor or therapist about your past with substance abuse so they’ll be able to help you the best they can. Your past with addiction can affect what type of ADHD medication is safe for you to use, so be prepared to lay it all out on the table.
Not only should you be honest when answering your doctor’s questions, but you should be prepared to ask them questions as well. Knowing what to ask your doctor and what you’re looking for in the treatment process will help you figure out whether or not you’re a good match for each other.
Focus on the Good
Immersing yourself in your career and your hobbies will keep you focused on what’s meaningful in your life. Setting aside time to explore your interests is one of the best things you can do for yourself during recovery. Consider alternative methods for relieving stress and finding a calm and quiet focus.
Spending time with friends and family is another top priority for those in recovery. Surrounding yourself with those you love and spending time doing what you love most are the two best ways to ensure you’re focusing on what’s good in your life.
Find Compassion Within Yourself
Remember to be patient with yourself on your road to recovery. It won’t always be easy, but knowing that you’re only doing your best will bring you peace.
Not only can you exercise compassion for yourself, but you can also benefit from having compassion for others. It may be hard for your loved ones to understand what you’re going through, so try to be patient with them if they’re ever difficult or unhelpful.
If you’re in recovery and also have ADHD, your journey may be completely different from someone who doesn’t suffer from the disorder. Being mindful of your unique situation and staying positive on your journey will keep you looking forward to a healthier tomorrow.
This guest post was contributed by Kathleen Carter, a teen who has been living with Asperger’s Syndrome for as long as she can remember. She strives to educate her peers and others about AS. Recently, she began focusing her efforts on writing proudly about how her experiences differ from other people her age. She is so grateful to have the opportunity to write for EducatorLabs.