Kids With ADHD at Greater Risk for Addiction

Me, when ADHD started to impact my classroom performance.

New research supports past research finding a correlation between Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and drug and alcohol addiction.  It’s interesting to me that this comes up now, because moms in one of my favorite online parenting communities are discussing the nature of addiction.  It’s quite a vigorous conversation, as most there are!  One thing that’s clear is all addictions are not created equally.  Addiction driven by a disorder like ADHD is difficult to fight without understanding and treating the underlying cause.

I spoke with Dr. Max Nelson at the Seay Behavioral Health Center at Texas Health Presbyterian in Plano, TX, about ADHD and addiction.  Please listen to our conversation here (courtesy KRLD):

Thank you, Dr. Nelson.

It’s important to note that it’s normal for preschoolers and early elementary school students to be easily distracted and have short attention spans.  They are wild balls of energy fairly crashing from exciting new thing to exciting new thing.  Squirrel! (Remember “Up!”?) These signs in your kindergartener, for example, should not stress you out.  However, if their attention span and ability to complete tasks don’t increase and improve as they age, you should start to pay attention.  Second grade was particularly difficult for me.  I simply could not finish anything my classmates seemed to complete with ease, and I was constantly in trouble for it.  This is the kind of thing for which you are looking.

If you are concerned about this, or anything related to your child, don’t hesitate to have a frank discussion with their pediatrician.



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