Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. ADHD is a psychiatric behavioral disorder that affects children, adolescents, and adults. The brain uses various chemicals to help send messages across the nervous system. An imbalance of these chemical messengers may result in the inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms of ADHD.
ADHD Impulse Control Symptoms:
People with ADHD tend to be more impulsive and likely to have behavior problems, both of which can contribute to drug and alcohol abuse and addiction. ADHD and alcoholism both tend to run hand in hand with families. A child with ADHD who has a parent with alcoholism is more likely to develop an alcohol abuse problem or ADHD symptoms.
Researchers have also found links between ADHD and the use of marijuana and other recreational drugs, particularly in people who also have other psychological disorders (such as obsessive-compulsive disorder). What’s more, people with ADHD typically start having problems with drugs and alcohol at an earlier age than people without the condition.
Pharmacological intervention is oftentimes the first treatment of choice for a child with a diagnosis of ADHD. However, medication alone is not the only solution. Behavior therapy, which focuses on teaching children appropriate self-regulation skills by modifying the environment so that appropriate on-task behaviors are reinforced while negative, off-task behaviors are extinguished, is a vital component of a treatment plan.
Many children with ADHD exhibit issues with their daily social functioning. It is important to realize that these social deficits are not because of a lack of inherent social skills but because of the impact that issues with attention to the social world and impulsivity have on their daily social interactions. The focus of the intervention then needs to be on how to change the child’s daily environment so that he or she is set up for success. Many times this will include modifications in the classroom setting to help improve on-task behaviors and self-regulation. Another intervention that is often needed for a child with a diagnosis of ADHD is parent and teacher education. It is important to work with parents and teachers so that they can have a better grasp as to why they are observing particular behaviors.
Furthermore, ADHD has shown over various studies, not to be treated by medication alone. Although, there have been many improvements with just medicating a patient. With behavioral therapy and medication combined, patients have shown immaculate improvements. There is help and research available to help with this process.