The short answer is no, but there is much more to it than that. Clinical studies have shown a correlation between ADHD and substance abuse, which leads us to believe that many individuals dealing with ADHD use drugs and / or alcohol as a coping mechanism for their attention related difficulties. Many medications used to treat ADHD can be habit-forming and it is important to regularly monitor the use of these medications to prevent abuse and addiction.
Because ADHD is less commonly diagnosed in adults than in children, many adults suffering with ADHD receive a misdiagnosis such as depression, bipolar, or anxiety disorders. Adults with undiagnosed ADHD frequently show signs of more addictive behaviors than those who have been properly diagnosed and receive the appropriate treatment. Often times these individuals exhibit addictive behaviors as a way of self medicating, or coping with their ADHD without even realizing that they have an anilment that can not only be appreciated, but that can actually be a benefit if diagnosed, monitored, and treated appropriately.
Adults with ADHD have a higher risk of alcoholism, drug abuse, and other compulsive behaviors. Self medicating, or numbing our feelings using substances to calm our anxious brains is a common issue among adults who are suffering with ADHD. Often times, an untreated ADHD brain may feel like it's in overdrive and as a way to manage the symptoms, the individual will look for ways to slow it down, relying on unhealthy habits. Many people experience a great deal of relief when self medicating, and often find it the best way for them to focus, complete tasks, or simply get through the day. The “solution” often turns into dependence, and then addiction, which can be worse than the original issue of dealing with ADHD. There are a variety of reasons why one person becomes addicted and another does not. No single cause for addictions exists; rather, a combination of factors is usually involved. Sometimes genetic predisposition play a part in alcohol and drug abuse, other times it is a combination of factors. Many ADHD patients have trouble forming meaningful relationships and isolation and depression are very highly correlated with an increased risk for substance abuse.
There have been some studies that suggest that ADHD patients may experience altered dopamine responses, meaning that they would feel less “normal” pleasure. Not everyone with ADHD will develop an alcohol or substance abuse problem, but for those that do, special treatment options are designed. Using a combination of medications, therapy, nutrition, coaching, exercise, among other treatment modalities, there is help for those suffering with Adult ADHD.