September 14-20 is ADHD Awareness Week. Mental illness and age of 1st use of alcohol (or other drugs) are two of the key risk factors contributing to a person’s development of alcohol abuse problems and/or alcoholism. When you look at the images below showing ADHD before and after treatment and compare them to the brain of someone who abuses alcohol, you can appreciate how hard it would be to “think” straight if you were a person with a mental illness, such as ADHD, and a substance abuse problem. You can also appreciate why it’s important to treat both and to monitor treatment along the way. For as the brain starts to recover from one and/or the other, those changes, in and of themselves, can indicate a need to change medications and/or treatment protocols.
For more information about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD — one of the most common mental disorders that develop in children — visit the NIHM website page, “ Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.”
SPECT of ADHD. Courtesy Amen Clinics, www.amenclinics.com
SPECT of ADHD After Treatment. Courtesy Amen Clinics, www.amenclinics.com
SPECT of 56-year old man with daily drinking of 3-4 drinks/day but NOT an alcoholic. Courtesy Amen Clinics, www.amenclinics.com