If you or someone in your family is struggling with mental health disorders or addiction, it’s essential to recognize what conditions are present and to receive customized treatment from a qualified facility like Casa Serena. Someone diagnosed with ADHD might be at a high risk for dopamine-seeking activities, especially drug and alcohol use. This can quickly lead to the need for dual diagnosis services.

Casa Serena Treatment is a premier women’s drug and alcohol rehab in Santa Barbara that offers comprehensive dual diagnosis therapy. Contact us today to learn more about how our compassionate staff can help women overcome mental health and substance abuse issues.

What is ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder that involves:

  • Impulsivity
  • Hyperactivity
  • Inattention

Many people associate ADHD with abnormal brain dopamine levels or abnormal dopamine transmission. These abnormalities can interfere with behavioral changes or motivation. 

Someone struggling with ADHD could have low resting levels of dopamine. This means their brains struggle to maintain motivation or find rewards from everyday activities. As a result, they’re more likely to search for any form of stimulation that can quickly and intensely increase dopamine.

Can ADHD Lead to Addiction?

Several studies indicate that people with ADHD are at an increased risk for developing substance abuse disorders like drug or alcohol addiction. Several associations between ADHD and addiction could explain this, one of which is dopamine-seeking ADHD.

In some cases, individuals struggling with ADHD are impulsive and demonstrate behavioral issues. That impulsivity can encourage dopamine-seeking behaviors. Dopamine-seeking behaviors might be categorized as risky or reckless, but they come from a neurological desire to stimulate dopamine production.

Can ADHD lead to addiction for someone in the situation? Absolutely, because someone who has dopamine-seeking ADHD is more likely to use any substance or behavior to trigger higher releases of dopamine.

There are many drugs that do exactly that. 

How Drugs Impact Dopamine

When people use drugs, especially the first few times, it creates a high feeling of pleasure. This feeling comes from the electrical stimulation of different parts of the brain in the reward center. By stimulating the reward center, neurotransmitters are released in higher doses than someone would get under normal circumstances. One of the most common neurotransmitters associated with pleasure is dopamine.

However, drugs and alcohol can recreate and even heighten these feelings much faster. Chronic use of drugs and alcohol can diminish the brain’s ability to release neurotransmitters like dopamine under everyday, life-sustaining situations.

This means that someone struggling with ADHD and engaging in drug use or alcoholism might find that, at some point, they are no longer able to feel that rush of dopamine from things like exercise or eating healthy, so instead, they habitually turn to drugs and alcohol to recreate the feeling.

Getting Help with Casa Serena

If you are struggling with dopamine-seeking ADHD, you can reach out to our team of mental health professionals and learn more about our dual diagnosis treatment for women. Our facility specializes in providing treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders and substance abuse. Treating both at the same time offers the highest chance of successful recovery and long-term sobriety.

Getting help for ADHD in the form of therapy and essential life skills can make it easier to manage symptoms. Medication might also be a profound step toward monitoring and controlling dopamine levels in the brain without having to use drugs or alcohol.

At our secluded recovery location, you’ll have the opportunity to work with a team of specialists who care about your success. You’ll participate in personalized treatment programs that focus on every aspect of your struggle, including:

  • Your physical health
  • Psychological struggles
  • Mental health symptoms
  • Substance abuse

As part of your treatment, you’ll work to address any underlying conditions like ADHD, the causes, and other psychological or emotional factors that could have contributed to drug and alcohol abuse. 

We believe your recovery space should be where you feel completely safe and comfortable. As a women-only facility, we let you address your treatment needs with gender-specific therapy that addresses the biological components unique to women as it relates to mental health, ADHD, and addiction. Don’t wait to get help. Call our team today to learn more.

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