17. Addiction problems in ADHD
Addiction problems are a possible symptom of untreated ADHD. ADHD medications significantly reduce the risk of addiction,
17.1. Substance-related addictions in ADHD
17.1.1. Alcohol addiction in ADHD
Short-term alcohol consumption reduces stress symptoms. Long-term alcohol consumption, on the other hand, increases them.
If another substance-related addiction existed in addition to an alcohol addiction, young men were 5.3 times more likely to have ADHD.
17.1.2. Cannabis use and ADHD
Cannabis can have a self-medicating component in ADHD. This already occurs at doses that have no intoxicating effect (microdosing). Nevertheless, non-medical cannabis is not an appropriate treatment and medical cannabis is a possible medication only in very rare constellations.
Dosages that cause an intoxicating effect do not represent serious medical significance. In the case of non-medical cannabis, medical usefulness is fundamentally questionable due to the high fluctuations in active ingredients.
See more at ⇒ Cannabinoidergic medications for ADHD And ⇒ Substance abuse with self-medication effects in ADHD.
17.2. Non-substance-related addictions
17.2.1. Video game addiction in ADHD
ADHD seems to trigger more video game time, while more video game time does not increase ADHD.
We hypothesize that the lower interest in more distant rewards induced by ADHD triggers a higher affinity for video games, as they often motivate by means of short-term rewards
Internet gaming addiction and ADHD appear to exhibit the same decreased functional connectivity between PFC and subcortical brain regions, each of which declined after 1 year of drug treatment.
One study found an association between Internet gaming addiction and inattention. It also found that this relationship was strengthened by a more vertical individualistic cultural orientation with no significant gender difference.
17.2.2. Internet addiction and ADHD
Of 650 boys at a high school, 12 to 15 % showed a pronounced Internet addiction. This was accompanied by increased ADHD symptoms.
Internet addiction was distinguished by one study into two subtypes: one subtype that correlated with impulsivity and ADHD-HI and another subtype that correlated with compulsivity.
One study found that Internet addiction in ADHD correlated with motivational dysfunction but not executive dysfunction.
17.2.3. Cell phone addiction in ADHD
Excessive cell phone use correlated with impulsivity and affected 20.1% of participating student subjects.
Excessive cell phone use further correlated with higher levels of
- Alcohol consumption
- Sexual activity
- Anxiety disorders
Cell phone addiction correlated directly with ADHD, depression, anxiety, and stress in one study, but not with sleep duration.
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