Diagnosed most frequently in childhood, ADD and ADHD can last well into adulthood and make life challenging no matter when you have it. As far as neurodevelopmental disorders go, ADHD is among the most common so it will come as no surprise that roughly 6.1 million children have received a diagnosis at some point in their lives.
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Left untreated and unattended to, somewhere in the neighborhood of 60% of those diagnosed in childhood will have clinically significant symptoms as adults. And among adults, the prevalence of ADHD stands at 4.4%.
Perhaps you’ve come across the regrettable undercurrent of public opinion that ADD and ADHD aren’t necessarily that serious. That it’s just a little bit of inattention here or there that you can “get over”. The casual disregard that a diagnosis may receive is a sign of how far society still needs to come with respect to mental illness in general and with ADD/ADHD specifically.
If you or someone you love has had to live with these disorders personally, you very much understand the chaos it can toss into your life.
More importantly and concretely though, ADD/ADHD is a common co-occurring disorder among those dealing with a substance abuse disorder (SUD). There is real mental suffering at play with those living with ADHD and as a way to deal with the storm in their minds, they turn to substances. Overall, it was found that 23% of young adults seeking treatment for SUD had ADD/ADHD and studies have convincingly shown that children and adolescents are at a heightened risk for substance abuse disorders.
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At this point, it’s instructive to nail down exactly what ADD is and what the difference between it and ADHD is.
ADD stands for Attention Deficit Disorder while ADHD means Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. The misunderstanding and potential confusion on the terms stem from the fact that ADD is technically a type of ADHD and that ADHD is now the umbrella term for all the forms of this disorder. ADD is more or less outdated terminology.
To that end, it’s important to understand the 3 types of ADHD and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does a great job breaking them down:
Predominantly Inattentive Presentation: It is hard for the individual to organize or finish a task, to pay attention to details, or to follow instructions or conversations. The person is easily distracted or forgets details of daily routines.
Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: The person fidgets and talks a lot. It is hard to sit still for long (e.g., for a meal or while doing homework). Smaller children may run, jump or climb constantly. The individual feels restless and has trouble with impulsivity. Someone who is impulsive may interrupt others a lot, grab things from people, or speak at inappropriate times. It is hard for the person to wait their turn or listen to directions. A person with impulsiveness may have more accidents and injuries than others.
Combined Presentation: Symptoms of the above two types are equally present in the person.
The inattentive presentation of the disorder is what used to be referred to as ADD.
As far as root causes go, the jury is still out but it’s thought that genetics play a big part as well environmental factors like nutrition, brain trauma or injury, exposure to toxic substances like lead, alcohol or tobacco use during pregnancy, being born premature or with a low birth weight. Ultimately the research is ongoing.
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We Work with Most Insurance
At Thrive Treatment℠ we accept most private insurance plans and we are in network with Cigna, MHN Health Net, First Health, and Anthem Blue Cross. Additional payment options are available so don’t hesitate to give us a call so we can get you the help that you need.
When to Get Help for ADD/ADHD
Everyone reaches a breaking point and getting help isn’t an admission of defeat, rather it’s accepting an invitation to heal a troubled and turbulent mind.
Anyone who suspects they or a loved one may have ADHD needs to see a mental health professional like a psychologist or psychiatrist who’s well versed in the disorder because being accurately diagnosed is imperative to getting the help you truly need. Even though there isn’t any specific test for it, there is a standardized way to reach a conclusion which is found by way of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition.
Often the way in which ADHD is treated is through the use of prescription drugs, namely stimulants which work by increasing the amount of dopamine in your brain. The most notable and commonly prescribed of which are Adderall and Ritalin. It goes without saying that drugs, even prescription ones, naturally come with their own risk of becoming habit forming and addictive, but reassuringly, in a decade long study, it was found that treating ADHD with medication doesn’t necessarily increase the chance for a subsequent substance use disorder.
Prescription drugs are one thing though, they’re taken under the guidance of a doctor and their efficacy and effectiveness are monitored. On the flip side is self-medicating with the goal of quelling and quieting the symptoms of ADHD. If you or someone you care about has turned to illegal drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with ADHD, that’s a surefire sign that it’s time to seek outside assistance. Calming the mind by way of self-medication is a dangerous move and can very quickly spiral out of control and into dependency and addiction. All while leaving the actual problem of ADHD totally unchecked and untreated.
What to Expect in ADD/ADHD Treatment in Los Angeles
Our ADHD clinic in Los Angeles utilizes evidenced-based methods that combine both modern and traditional therapies to help you soothe and slow down the mind, working to release you from the stranglehold of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
If you’re dealing with a substance abuse disorder in addition to and along with ADHD, it’s vital to tackle both of these mental illnesses together. With a dual diagnosis, it doesn’t matter which came first, the substance abuse or the ADHD. What does matter is that they are now intertwined and effectively feeding off each other, one serving to make the other worse.
You can expect a thorough and individualized treatment plan that focuses on reworking and changing the existing thoughts and behavior patterns that brought you to drugs or alcohol in the first place. At the same time, we’ll help you gain control over ADHD, not only discovering your triggers but also how to get around them.
We achieve this mainly through talk therapy, both individually in the form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and in group based therapy sessions where we build further understanding and connection as well as emphasize you’re not going through this process alone.
It’s not just the mind though, we take a holistic approach to our ADD therapy in Los Angeles and aim to treat the body and spirit as well.
Thrive's ADD/ADHD Treatment Program in Los Angeles Can Help You
At Thrive Treatment, our team of addiction specialists and mental health experts have years of experience delivering inner peace and tranquility back to those suffering from ADHD and addiction.
If you’re struggling to calm the storm in your mind and regain command of your focus and life, reach out to us and let’s get you back in control.