Medication is the primary method of treatment for ADHD in both children and adults. It can take up to six weeks for anti-ADHD drugs to take effect, however, so if a person enrolls in a treatment program for substance abuse and ADHD it may take a while for the symptoms of the latter to subside.
Drugs for ADHD may be administered to the patient during the detox stage, when they are undergoing supervised withdrawal from drugs and alcohol. In these instances, physicians and other medical experts responsible for providing detox services will proceed carefully, to make sure any and all medications prescribed are appropriate and won’t compromise the patient’s recovery from addiction.
During formal treatment, the patient’s substance abuse problem and ADHD symptoms will both be addressed. Treatments offered will include individual, group and family therapy, and in these sessions strategies for managing ADHD symptoms will be introduced. The idea is to give the patient new and improved options for coping with their attention-deficit-related struggles. Meanwhile, the patient will be encouraged to search for the root causes of their substance abuse issues by exploring their personal history deeply and honestly. More than ADHD is likely to be involved, and all aspects of the situation must be open to scrutiny.
In addition to daily counseling, patients will also attend lectures and presentations and participate in solution-oriented group discussions. These educational sessions will focus on healthy and sustainable ways to overcome mental health challenges, and participants will also learn how to resist the temptation to return to drugs and alcohol when times get rough.
At the conclusion of the formal treatment program, vitally important aftercare services for substance abuse will be offered, and if medication has helped the patient recover from ADHD it will continue to be prescribed for as long as it is needed.