Adult ADHD Could Put You at Risk for Alcoholism

Young guy holding glass of alcohol.New research is suggesting that adults with ADHD are more likely to struggle with substance abuse.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is typically thought of as a condition for younger people. And although much of the information about it is focused on younger people, it can affect older adults. Some have grown up with it, while others may have developed it later in life.


Diagnosis of the condition in older adults is on the rise.

New data from the University of Toronto indicates that drinking may be one of the ways people living with ADHD choose to medicate.

Researchers found nearly half of adults with ADHD battle some type of substance abuse, with alcohol being the most common. The abuse was even more pronounced in those dealing with anxiety or depression.

Alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse can lead to a host of problems, including enhancing depression and anxiety. It can also contribute to nutrient deficiencies and liver disease.

Treating a substance problem with ADHD, which is marked by impulsive behavior and trouble concentrating or sitting still, can be very difficult if the ADHD is not treated.

People with ADHD may be more prone to having trouble sticking to scheduled meetings, fighting the impulse to have a drink, and adopting healthier lifestyle habits like going to bed early and a healthy diet.

Getting a handle on ADHD, therefore, is the best way to fight potentially associated substance abuse issues.


The condition is typically treated with medication designed to help with focus and impulse control. Therapy may also be a part of treatment, structured in ways to help with planning and problem-solving skills, and managing other symptoms.

It’s possible you could have ADHD and not even know it. Some statistics suggest that 3 percent of older adults have been diagnosed with the condition, but some experts believe 5 to 7 percent may have the condition.

If you’ve been struggling to concentrate, control impulses, and with alcohol consumption, you may want to consider being tested for ADHD. It could end up helping you, and your liver, in the long run.

Author Bio

About eight years ago, Mat Lecompte had an epiphany. He’d been ignoring his health and suddenly realized he needed to do something about it. Since then, through hard work, determination and plenty of education, he has transformed his life. He’s changed his body composition by learning the ins and outs of nutrition, exercise, and fitness and wants to share his knowledge with you. Starting as a journalist over 10 years ago, Mat has not only honed his belief system and approach with practical experience, but he has also worked closely with nutritionists, dieticians, athletes, and fitness professionals. He embraces natural healing methods and believes that diet, exercise and willpower are the foundation of a healthy, happy, and drug-free existence.