What We Treat / Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD and ADD)

To learn about substance abuse and how our treatment programs in Hawaii can help with ADHD and co-occurring disorders.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder affects millions of people in the U.S. Learn more about the treatment of ADHD, along with co-occurring mental health disorders at our treatment centers in Hawaii. 

What Is Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder?

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, ADD) is a brain-based developmental disorder described as constant or persistent symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, impulsiveness, distraction, and/or forgetfulness. The terms ADHD and ADD are often interchangeable. 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), millions of children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with ADHD. Their research presents the following statistics:

According to a 2016 study, over 6 million children have been diagnosed with ADHD in the following age ranges:

  • Aged 12-17 years: over 3 million children
  • Aged 6-11 years: over 2 million children
  • Aged 2-5 years: 338,000 children

Although most diagnoses of ADHD occur during childhood, symptoms can continue to adulthood. According to research from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH), “The estimated lifetime prevalence of DHD in U.S. adults aged 18 to 44 years was 8.1%.” 

Adult ADHD is quite common, and a Healthline article sites celebrities such as Adam Levin, Simone Biles, Justin Timberlake, and Solange Knowles as living with the diagnosis. 

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The Cause of ADHD

There is no exact cause of how ADHD develops in individuals. While many researchers believe that family history and genetics may play a role in developing this disorder, there is also a possibility that ADHD develops from various circumstances, including environmental factors, nutrition, and brain injury. 

Symptoms of Adult ADHD

Most adults who suffer from ADHD experience symptoms by the time they reach 12 years of age. According to this research, adults with ADHD experience five constant symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity and/or inattention. These actions are defined as:

  • Hyperactivity: Excessive talking or moving
  • Impulsivity: Difficulty controlling one’s actions; loss of self-control
  • Inattention: Easily distracted; inability to focus

A person who is experiencing symptoms of hyperactivity and/or impulsivity may exhibit the following:

  • Talking non-stop
  • Excessive movements (squirming, fidgeting, tapping hands or feet)
  • Interrupting others who are speaking, talking over others to get their point across
  • Has difficulty waiting their turn in various situations such as waiting in line for goods, services, or events
  • Cannot easily follow instructions from others

A person who is experiencing symptoms of inattention may have difficulty with the following behaviors:

  • Actively listening to others
  • Staying on task, staying organized
  • Following instructions from others
  • Keeping track of personal items such as phone, wallet, or keys
  • Forget simple daily tasks such as returning phone calls or paying bills
  • Managing ADHD Symptoms

If you’ve been diagnosed with ADHD and are having trouble functioning in your daily activities, please seek help from your health care professionals. If you have not been diagnosed with ADHD and are having difficulty with inattention, hyperactivity, or impulsivity, we also encourage you to seek professional help. Your health care professionals will work with you to determine the medication and behavioral therapies you may need to help you deal effectively with your diagnosis. 

In addition to medication and therapy, there are some things that you can start doing immediately to help manage your symptoms. These activities include:

  • Getting the proper amount and quality of sleep (most adults need 7+ hours of sleep each night)
  • Eating properly
  • Avoid using drugs and alcohol
  • Stay connected with friends and family
  • Getting into an exercise routine that you enjoy
  • Become better organized

In addition, there are also ADHD peer support groups that you can join where you will find community with others working on managing and living with their ADHD diagnosis. 

ADHD and Substance Abuse

It is possible to suffer from ADHD and a substance use disorder (SUD). The coexistence of a mental health disorder and a SUD is known as a co-occurring disorder. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “approximately 9.2 million adults in the United States have a co-occurring disorder.” This may be because those with ADHD tend to self-medicate in hopes of easing their symptoms, and self-medicating with drugs or alcohol can lead to addiction. 

Approximately Million adults in the United States have a co-occurring disorder


While there is no known treatment for ADHD, there are treatment options available that can help you manage your ADHD diagnosis and recover from substance abuse. Managing this type of co-occurring disorder requires a comprehensive approach to treatment care. 

Treatment therapies for co-occurring disorders of ADHD and substance abuse can include:

  • Behavioral therapies: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an effective form of therapy for treating ADHD in adults; however, when being used for treating adults with ADHD, CBT should be used in addition to other evidence-based treatment modalities.
  • Medication: Certain medications are helpful in ADHD and SUD treatment plans; however, the type of medication used will depend on the individual’s substance addiction. Your health care professionals or treatment facility will work with you to develop a customized plan for your needs.

How We Can Help

Our residential treatment program at Hawaii Island Recovery provides comprehensive, evidence-based treatment for substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders. Our clinical services are the backbone of our program and are provided by compassionate, experienced professionals who recognize the quality treatment is not “one size fits all.”

In our Hawaii recovery centers, our treatment programming for ADHD is customized for each individual. Our treatment programs can consist of evidence-based behavioral treatment modalities, holistic therapies, experimental programming to support the restoration of our patient’s health and emotional well-being.

Hawaii Island Recovery offers effective treatment for ADHD and the underlying mental health issues most commonly associated with addiction. For more information on our treatment programs here in Hawaii, call us today at (866) 390-5070.