For close to 30 years, hundreds of studies have shown that ADD/ADHD can last well into adulthood in a third to half of the people afflicted, and extensive research has shown that young kids with ADHD are more likely than the general population to develop chemical addictions as they get older. Read on to learn more about the link between ADD and addiction.
The Link Between ADD and Addiction
ADHD is five to 10 times more common in adult alcoholics and addicts than it is in individuals who are not afflicted. Among adults who have been treated for substance and addictive disorders, the rate of ADD/ADHD is about 40%.
Also, it’s more common for kids with ADHD to start using drugs and alcohol during in early teenage years. In one particular study, 17% of children 15-17 years old with ADHD had problems with substance abuse as adults, compared to others without ADHD. Another study found that at a ripe age of 13.4 years, 42% of children with ADHD and ADD began abusing alcohol, compared to 21% of kids without an ADD or ADHD diagnosis — a strong future indicator of alcohol and substance abuse in adulthood. Younger adults (at a ripe age of 22), on the other hand, were just as likely to use alcohol whether or not they had an ADHD diagnosis, but those with ADHD were much more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol and need treatment for their addictions.
So Why Is It That People With ADHD More Likely to Develop Addictions?
People with ADHD are generally more impulsive and likely to have behavioral issues, these contribute to drug and alcohol addiction, according to researchers. Also, ADHD, addiction, and alcoholism are genetic diseases and commonly run in families. A young kid with ADHD or ADD whose father has alcoholism is more likely to also develop an alcohol or drug addiction. Researchers have actually been able to pinpoint common genes linked from ADHD and ADD to Addiction and alcoholism.