3 Tips for Controlling Your ADHD During Rehab

3 Tips for Controlling Your ADHD During Rehab

You probably have a lot of questions about addiction rehab, and one might be why you must stop taking a medication like Ritalin or Adderall. According to a 2014 article in Psych Central, the rate of substance abuse among those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is between 10 and 30 percent, a much higher rate than the general population. Many people abuse drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine and other stimulants to deal with ADHD, but many people with this condition find that, when they are sober, their disorder is easier than they thought. Thus, in treatment you will stop taking your medication to discover how mild or severe your symptoms are without other drugs. In addition, stimulants that treat ADHD can trigger drug use. You may think that you cannot cope without a stimulant, but you can utilize other options to control your ADHD.

Using Neurofeedback To Control ADHD

Neurofeedback is therapy that teaches the brain to stay calm and focused. According to a 2010 article from National Public Radio, clients face a computer screen that is connected to electrodes; these electrodes are applied to the client’s scalp, and specialized software monitors the brain’s theta and beta waves. When the brain shows desired wave patterns—when the client is focused and attentive—the computer changes the image on the screen, which lets clients know how well they are paying attention. According to a 2009 study released in Clinical EEG and Neuroscience, neurofeedback improves inattentiveness, impulsivity and hyperactivity.

Using Relaxation Techniques to Control ADHD

One of the most effective and economical ways to control ADHD is to utilize relaxation techniques. Fortunately, you will learn many of these techniques in treatment, because relaxation is also a way to manage stress, which can trigger addiction relapse.

Relaxation techniques include the following examples:

  • Exercise – According to a 2013 article from Everyday Health, regular exercise can treat ADHD in both adults and children. Activity can clear your mind, which is often difficult for people with this disorder, and it also raises your ability to manage stress. When considering physical activity, participate in a variety of activities and sports to keep boredom at bay—you can also change up the time and place you exercise, as well as the music you listen to. Furthermore, keep in mind that team sports may be more difficult for those with ADHD, so try running, cycling, elliptical machines, kayaking, rock climbing and other individual sports.
  • Breath control – Focusing on your breath helps you slow down and think before you react to a situation. It can also help manage stress, which can worsen your ADHD. To control your breath, take a normal breath, then a deep one slowly through your nose. Allow your chest and lower belly to rise as your lungs fill up. Next, breath out slowly through your mouth. You can also add other elements to breathing, such as pleasant imagery or a focus word to help you relax.
  • Meditation – In conjunction with deep breathing exercises, mindful meditation can be an excellent way to control your ADHD. According to a 2010 article from Psychology Today, this type of meditation helps us become aware of our thoughts and experiences; the act means paying attention to the present moment (breathing, posture and thoughts) while seated and taking deep breaths. In mindfulness meditation, the goal is not directed at accomplishing a task—such as being more patient or being more attentive. Instead, the goal is simply becoming aware of what is happening moment by moment.

You can also learn other coping mechanisms that alleviate ADHD symptoms. These include talk therapy, finding hobbies, taking time to “recharge your batteries,” and memorizing motivational slogans, symbols and sayings to label your mistakes and mood swings. You can also search online for other helpful suggestions.

Using Non-Steroid Drugs for ADHD

If you cannot control your ADHD symptoms without a stimulant, you still have pharmaceutical options. Fortunately, stimulant drugs are not the only way to treat ADHD, as other, non-addictive treatment can also manage this condition. According to WebMD, the Federal Drug Administration has approved three non-stimulant drugs to treat ADHD: Strattera, Intuniv and Kapvay. Once your rehab team observes your symptoms without the effects of stimulants, they can assess your ADHD to prescribe one of the non-addictive drugs. You may have to try different medications at different dosages to find the one that works best for you, so be patient with the process.

Getting Help for Your Addiction

If you or a loved one is showing the signs of addiction to Ritalin or Adderall, we can help. You can call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline anytime to talk confidentially with one of our admissions coordinators about your symptoms and concerns. Together, the two of you can determine the best treatment options in light of the nature and history of your addiction, insurance, work situation and living environment. Overcoming addiction is a lifelong journey that begins now, so call us today.