NorthShore ADHD and Addiction Clinic is back.
With the world being upside down, we have decided to re-open to serve those,
who despite their best efforts, have not been able to find the care they need.
I remain dedicated to our digital health venture Obidou. But with Covid-19, putting our project on ice, we find ourselves wanting to stay connected. Many of you have asked whether we would be willing to see some patients, the answer is, "yes".
We are happy to refill prescriptions, but we need to have a visit in order to do that.
As before, we're happy to send out charts and your family doctor can still reach us
by fax (778-945-2778)
Look forward to seeing you soon,
Sincerely, NorthShore ADHD and Addiction Clinic, April 2020
The Overlapping Neurobiology of ADHD and Addiction
ADHD is the most common neuro-developmental disorder in children. It is more heritable than hair or eye colour and more common than anxiety and bipolar combined. At least 50% of those kids grow up to be adults with ADHD.
People who have ADHD are more likely to drop out of school, become parents in their teens, have their electricity cut off, get fired, go bankrupt, fail in relationships and get injured in car accidents. But the greatest injury of all, is the steady decline in self esteem that accompanies repeated failure, despite their best effort.
ADHD is not a religion that you have to "believe" in. A physician saying they don't believe in ADHD is like a cardiologist saying they don't believe in diabetes.
ADHD and Addiction
Addiction, like ADHD is marked by decreased Dopamine neurotransmission, particularly in the circuits that govern impulsivity and reward. Not only is dopamine low to begin with, but when stimulated by drugs or alcohol, dopamine, rises higher and faster and falls lower than in non-addicted people. It is this instability in Dopamine transmission that remains, even in recovery. That is why people with addiction often trade on e addiction for another.
ADHD, like Addiction, manifests as impulsivity, but also by under-stimulation of the dopamine circuits that govern cognition, execution, and motor control.
Therefore, if a person with Addiction also has ADHD, those symptoms of impulsivity, poor concentration, disorganization, hyperactivity will persist even after the person is in recovery. It's not persistent post withdrawal syndrome. It's ADHD.
PERFUSION in ADHD
Addiction and Compulsion
Addiction to substances like cocaine and heroin, are governed by the same neurobiology as compulsive gaming, shopping or sex. Behind all these is the quest for dopamine.
The feelings and emotions associated with Dopamine became, through natural selection, the signal that a behaviour was associated with survival. And as we mentioned, in people with addiction those dopamine circuits and by extension, their emotions and behaviours are dysregulated and unstable
That's why people with the most severe addictions would do anything, even kill themselves for dopamine.
Therefore you can't treat ADHD or Addiction or Compulsive behaviours until you stabilize their circuits, helping craving and withdrawal recede, and allowing them to better regulate their emotions and themselves.
That is why treating people to regulate themselves works. Whether it's meditation therapy, hugs, group support or medication. Whatever it takes.