Recent research has suggested that some adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, self-medicate their ADD symptoms. In one study in particular, researchers showed that adults with ADHD smoke not just to get the “high” (clinically referred to as “for affect”) provided for nicotine, but also for its potential effects upon adult ADHD symptoms. Other studies have examined the ideas that people with ADHD self-medicate with caffeine or sugar, as well as other foods, medicinal herbs, supplements. All indicate that there is at least some truth to the idea that certain natural occurring stimulants or food products can tame certain ADD inattention difficulties to some extent. (Whew! How is that for qualifying a statement? Some truth, that certain thing, might help, somewhat.)
For medical researchers looking into ADHD, the primary motivation for conducting such studies is two-fold. One, it eliminates variables in other research studies. For example, if adults with ADD, or teens with ADHD, can be shown to be populations that have a biological reason that makes quitting smoking harder, then such groups can be excluded from research studies about the effectiveness of quit smoking techniques.
Just imagine if it turned out that ever major smoking cessation experiment over the last decade could trace its success or failure largely to the number of people with attention deficit disorder conditions who took part in the study. That would be a very big deal. It also suggests that additional treatment options for ADHD smokers might be necessary to successfully quit smoking.
The second purpose of doing ADHD research like this is that it gives additional clues to the biological effects of ADHD on the brain, as well as additional factors to consider when doing research into the cause of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in teens, adults, and to a lesser extent (for smoking studies, anyway) children with ADD. If the mechanism by which tobacco and nicotine affect the brain’s neurological pathways is well understood, and it can be shown that to some extent that the curative affect some ADDers feel from nicotine on their inattention symptoms is similar, then their is the possibility that ADHD functions by affecting the brain in a related manner.
See why real research is peer-reviewed research.
Self-Medicating ADHD Without Prescription Medication Drugs
What information about dealing with ADHD can those of us with ADD take from such research studied. While far from being the kind of research that conclusive conclusions about attention deficit disorders can be drawn, it does suggest some possible techniques for improving concentration in people with ADHD. One ADHD trick would be to conduct self-experiments to see how certain natural stimulants affect your ADHD symptoms. Excluding smoking, which is dangerous, unhealthy, and very addictive, experimenting with the affects caffeine, sugar, tuarine (or whatever that is in Red Bull) and the link can be very useful for ADDers looking for new ways to deal with their own ADHD symptoms.
For example, if a teenager with ADHD were to find out that caffeine early in the morning improves their concentration for three or four hours, then the best ADHD tip for concentrating better on an early morning geometry test would be to drink some coffee before leaving the house, or on the way to school. However, it is important to know exactly how the caffeine affects you, how much causes an improvement, as well as how much is too much. Also, teens with ADD in school would need to know how long it takes for it to “hit them”. Drinking a bunch of Cokes right before an important history test, when it turns out that it takes 45 minutes for the caffeine and sugar to really kick in, isn’t going to help much.
Please ignore this quick test ADHD Tools Advice
These ADHD tips and tricks are not for replacing your current ADD therapy regime. The idea is to have an arsenal of ADHD tools in your pocket that you can pull out for certain situations. Not just tests, but important meetings, during a critical sales call, self-medication of your ADHD symptoms for a little extra control might just be the difference between further frustration, and additional success. You might even find there are times when you would prefer to treat ADHD naturally by skipping your normal medication and using a stand-in in order to maximize certain personality traits or a specific kind of focus.