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Can I Still Take ADHD Meds in Rehab?

The disease of addiction is all-consuming. Even the most good, honest people can fall under the powerful thrall of alcohol or drugs, making them willing to resort to criminal behavior such as stealing from their own loved ones in order to sustain their unsustainable substance abuse habits. In that way, addiction affects the loved ones of addicts almost as much as the addicts themselves, which is why addiction is often referred to as the “family disease.

Moreover, the loved ones of addicts usually have a front-row seat for the destructive journey of the addicts they love, feeling powerless and unable to help. While most would agree that addiction is, in fact, a disease, it’s complicated and unique compared to many other disease. Having both physical as well as psychological components, addiction manifests many symptoms that are shared with other mental and emotional disorders, prompting many to question whether addiction might actually be a mental disorder.

Additionally, many of the individuals who suffer from addiction tend to suffer from other psychological disorders, which is referred to as comorbidity. Whether the addiction causes the secondary disorder, the mental disorder leads to the addiction, or the two disease developed simultaneously and independently, these individuals require treatment that addresses the effects of both afflictions, which is called dual-diagnosis support.

For individuals who suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, treatment is made more complicated as these individuals are frequently prescribed medications in order to minimize or control the symptoms of the disorder. Therefore, individuals who suffer from both addiction and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder will likely be asking a very important question: Can a person continue taking his or her medication while in rehab?

What Kinds of Meds Treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

It’s uncommon for children to be diagnosed with actual mental or emotional disorders, but attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is one of the few psychological disorders that are most common among youths. While a number of children outgrow the condition as they mature, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can persist through adolescence and even adulthood, requiring continuous treatment in order to keep the symptoms in check.

The trademark characteristics of an individual suffering from ADHD include difficulty focusing and paying attention, being unable to control one’s behavior, and hyperactivity. Moreover, there are three subtypes of ADHD that are widely recognized and diagnosed: the first type is characterized by an individual mostly being hyperactive and impulsive in behavior, the second type is characterized inattentive without symptoms of hyperactivity, and the third type is a combination of hyperactivity and inattentiveness.

In treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, the focus is on improving an individual’s functioning while reducing the symptoms as much as possible. The most successful treatment regimen includes a combination of medication, counseling or psychotherapy, training, and education. When it comes to medication, stimulants are most commonly used to treat individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

It may seem odd to treat hyperactivity with a stimulant, but stimulant medications actually have a calming effect on individuals who suffer from ADHD and hyperactivity. There are many different types of stimulant medications available to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, and Vyvanse being some of the most common and frequently prescribed.

ADHD Medication & Addiction Treatment

As mentioned above, the medications that are prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are mostly stimulants. Although the treatment of ADHD represents an instance in which stimulant medication can be highly beneficial, stimulants are a form of drug that are very frequently abused for recreational purposes. In fact, cocaine and crystal methamphetamine are also stimulants, but rather than being prescription pharmaceuticals they are street drugs that are stimulants.

Like cocaine and crystal meth, stimulant ADHD medications can be abused to much the same effect, causing an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, elevated body temperature, and other effects reminiscent of street stimulants. Also like cocaine and crystal meth, ADHD medications like Adderall and Ritalin act on the brain in much the same way as norepinephrine and dopamine, causing a surge in these neurochemicals that can cause feelings of euphoria when abused.

Although an addict may have been prescribed an ADHD medication before starting an addiction treatment program, it’s likely that he or she will be unable to continue taking the medication while in treatment. There are several reasons why ADHD isn’t typically allowed while in treatment. As these medications are stimulants and technically mind-altering, they could be preventing some of the underlying mental and emotional factors that contributed to the development of an addiction from surfacing, which will also prevent them from recognition and treatment. Moreover, individuals could begin abusing their ADHD medications in the absence of one’s substance of choice, compromising the efficacy of the program.

They can be crushed or snorted through the nose to achieve a stronger effect, which actually renders them therapeutically ineffective. Alternatively, individuals may trade their medications to others in the facility in exchange for other drugs, money, or for other reasons. As such, it’s considered safer and makes treatment more effective to simply prohibit the use of stimulant medications for ADHD while in treatment.

Dual-Diagnosis Support for Addiction & ADHD

Even though stimulant medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are not usually allowed, many programs offer dual-diagnosis support for individuals who suffer from addiction in addition to another mental or emotional disorder like ADHD. This may entail incorporating ADHD counseling into psychotherapy sessions and other forms of individual or even group therapy.

Additionally, there are a number of non-stimulant medications that can be prescribed when they are needed; Strattera is a non-stimulant medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and Wellbutrin is an antidepressant that’s sometimes used to treat ADHD as well. In effect, individuals in alcohol and drug rehabs who suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder aren’t forced to simply endure the symptoms of the condition; instead, they’re provided with alternative methods of alleviating their symptoms without compromising their recoveries with continued use of stimulants to treat ADHD.

Call Us Today for a Free Consultation, Assessment

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is one of numerous psychological disorders that can develop alongside an alcohol or drug addiction. Suffering from both an addiction and a mental or emotional disorder is a very painful, lonely experience, but there’s help available for those in need. If you or someone you love would like to learn more about addiction treatment or dual-diagnosis support, Drug Treatment Center Finder is here to help. Call us now at 1-855-619-8070 to receive a free consultation and assessment. One phone call can begin your journey to a life of lasting health and happiness.

  1. I am presently in Sea Brook House IOP in Morristown NJ. I am 60 days sober and my psychiatrist has placed me back on Adderall as I am struggling with ADHD. I would like to know if there is a nighttime IOP 2 days a week somewhere in the vicinity of Morris/Essex County that will allow me to take my ADHD medication.

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