• over 3 years ago

    Adult ADHD & alcohol


    I am 24 years old and have been diagnosed since childhood with ADHD. My mother refused for me to take medicine for it and I haven't started yet. I read an article on her about alcohol consumption and ADHD. I was wondering am I supposed to avoid alcohol overall or consume it in moderation? Was the warning because of the risk of addiction or was it deeper entrenched in the chemicals in my brain?

    Thank you!


  • over 3 years ago

    RE: Adult ADHD & alcohol

    Hi there . Thanks for sharing. According to this ( http://wb.md/2oYd3Tf) article, there's no official recommendation, because not enough research has been done. But some doctors think a drink or two is okay for some people under certain circumstances. It depends on the person, the type of medication they take, and when they took it last.

    You also might consider speaking with a doctor as he/she would know this answer for you best. Talk to your doctor, and share your thoughts and concerns :)

    Hope this helps!
  • over 3 years ago

    RE: Adult ADHD & alcohol

    Hi J,

    That's an excellent question. Should people with ADHD avoid alcohol?

    It really depends on the individual. ADHD is only one aspect of personality, and it is a highly variable condition.

    That said, consider the effect of untreated ADHD on driving: It is equivalent to driving after having three alcoholic drinks.

    In other words, having ADHD is already a bit like "being drunk." That is, self-regulation and decision-making is already diminished. Alcohol can further diminish that, leading to poor choices and increased accidents.

    Also: Yes, it does appear that ADHD leaves a person more vulnerable to abusing substances and behaviors. By that I mean, a person with ADHD might drink more to alleviate anxiety, thus being more likely to develop an addiction. Or a person with ADHD might "escape" in other ways, such as with online activity or videogaming, having sex, shopping, driving fast.....you get the picture.

    When the brain is under-stimulated—which is a simple way of describing ADHD—the unconscious impulse is to seek stimulation.

    Alcohol is initially a stimulant. People with ADHD have told me that first drink clears their head and improves focus. But then it goes away and they keep chasing it with a second drink. And a third. And...

    In other words,in attempting to find sufficient stimulation in their environments or through substances, folks with ADHD can over-do it. They get over-stimulated and sometimes addicted.

    I hope this helps to answer your question.

    Gina Pera