Characterized by impulsivity and an impaired ability to focus

ADHD: What You Need to Know

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that affects thinking, mood, and behavior. Symptoms include pervasive inattention, difficulty calming down, hyperactivity, impulsive behavior, and excessive talking. Individuals are often diagnosed with ADHD at a young age, but adults have also been diagnosed. Doctors may prescribe medications like Adderall or Dexedrine for ADHD, which are amphetamines. These stimulants, which bring those without ADHD to a heightened level of activity and awareness, have a calming effect on those with ADHD, actually allowing them to focus.

ADHD distracted

Effects of ADHD

Many people with ADHD do not realize they have it, which can put them at a higher risk for developing other issues such as depression or anxiety. Often, someone with undiagnosed ADHD will turn to substance use to self-medicate in an attempt to calm themselves or control feelings of anxiety or depression. That puts those with ADHD at a greater risk of developing addiction and other compulsive habits based on their condition.

Being diagnosed with ADHD can be very freeing to those who have spent years not understanding their symptoms. Once an accurate diagnosis is made, a plan for treatment can be created, allowing those with ADHD to discover how to regain balance in their lives.

Symptoms of ADHD can include:

  • Chronic lateness and forgetfulness
  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Employment problems
  • Difficulty controlling anger
  • Impulsiveness
  • Substance abuse or addiction
  • Poor organization skills
  • Procrastination
  • Low frustration tolerance
  • Chronic boredom
  • Difficulty concentrating when reading
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Relationship problems

The Stats on ADHD

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • An estimated 6.1 million children had been diagnosed with ADHD by 2016.
  • In young children, ADHD is twice as likely to be diagnosed in boys than girls.
  • Half of children with ADHD were reported to have a behavior or conduct problem.
  • 33% of children with ADHD also had anxiety, 17% had depression, and 14% had autism.

According to the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH):

  • In adolescents, ADHD is three times as likely to be diagnosed in boys than girls.
  • Nearly half of all adolescent cases of ADHD showed severe impairment.
  • 4.4% of adults aged 18-44 have ADHD.
  • 5.4% of men have ADHD versus 3.2% of women.

Treating ADHD

At the Claudia Black Young Adult Center, we utilize the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA) in the assessment protocol of our young adult patients. Essentially, TOVA is a computerized test of attention that assists in screening, diagnosis, and treatment monitoring of attention disorders such as ADHD.

TOVA complements the work of the multidisciplinary treatment team at our treatment center. The TOVA report often accompanies a history of substance use disorders, relational trauma, anxiety disorders, and mood dysregulation. The symptoms of ADHD may at times be directly due to substance withdrawal, the consequences of trauma, or another mental health condition.

Using the TOVA assessment allows us to treat individuals based on their specific needs. Research has shown that treating addiction, ADHD, and any other co-occurring mental health conditions in the same setting provides individuals with the best opportunity for long-term recovery.

Mental health treatment
 Addiction Risk and ADHD: What's the Connection? - Claudia Black Center

Featured Article: Addiction Risk and ADHD: What’s the Connection?

Research on ADHD-addiction risk shows a growing concern that people with ADHD may be more susceptible to alcohol or drug misuse.

Help for ADHD

ADHD can be life-disrupting and cause other issues, such as substance use disorders and other mental health conditions. The Claudia Black Young Adult Center can help individuals suffering from ADHD regain control over their lives. We offer a comprehensive treatment program that addresses all aspects of the person to restore emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health. We invite you to get an accurate diagnosis and find out how we can help you or your loved one.

“According to a national 2016 parent survey, 6 in 10 children with ADHD had at least one other mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder.” -The Centers for Disease Control


Our experienced, compassionate Admissions team is here to help 24 hours a day and will treat you with the dignity and respect you deserve. Let our specialists help you create a road map to get you where you want to go: a healthier, more balanced, fulfilling place in life. When you call, you’ll be led through a series of questions to determine if the Claudia Black Young Adult Center is the right fit for your needs, and how soon your treatment can begin.

If you are interested in treatment for yourself or a loved one, call or fill out our convenient Admissions form!




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