Learning Disabilities & Drug Rehab
- Treatment Methods
ADHD & Addiction Treatment
Morgan Richardson’s pickup zips along a dark, lonely stretch of highway. His mind is not on the thick, acrid smoke from San Diego’s apocalyptic wildfires that have accompanied him on this late-night ride, but the past.
Twenty-two years earlier, the then-fidgety, withdrawn and disruptive sixth grader was diagnosed with what was then a barely heard-of medical condition: attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. The family physician eventually prescribed the boy Adderall®, a powerful psycho-stimulant that seemed to make everything better.
With his speedometer hitting 85 mph as he races along Highway 8 in remote northeastern San Diego County, everything is not better. Richardson is out of his mind, high on methamphetamine. He chose this road because it is far from everyone he loves. As tears stream down his face, he folds up his left leg, wedging it under his steering wheel. His hands now free, he grabs a sawed-off shotgun from the bench seat. Twinkling lights from an Indian casino seem to dance on his pickup’s shiny hood as he pushes the muzzle against his temple. He takes one last glance at his reflection in the rearview mirror. He shuts his eyes. He pulls the trigger.
“The round did not go off,” Richardson explains now, five years later. He took that as a sign.
Before Richardson was diagnosed with ADHD and schools knew how to assist the learning disabled, young Morgan was consigned to classes for the physically handicapped, isolating and embarrassing him. He grew to hate school and started ditching class and gravitating toward misfits. And he could never seem to grasp why doing things like picking up a BB gun and shooting out all windows in his neighborhood was a big deal.
Knowing he had a medical condition made it easier to cope, and the drugs made it easier to learn.
Today, ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed affliction in American children. The National Institute of Mental Health says about 2 million schoolchildren, or 3 percent to 7 percent of them, have ADHD. More kids than ever before are legally ingesting methylphenidate (Ritalin and Concerta) and dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine and Adderall).
“Ritalin and Adderall are my first memories of prescription drugs,” Richardson says. “They really took hold. The first prescription worked very well. It straightened me out. I was teachable, more manageable.”
But what started out as a drug that helped Morgan to become more of a teachable, and more manageable person, ultimately turned into a monster that caused Richardson to look to other places to gain the same results as the Adderall over time. Like many others who initially took small doses of Adderall for ADHD, he remembers experiencing a slight feeling of euphoria that made studying more pleasant. Small doses eventually stopped creating that feeling, so his doctor increased the dosage. When that dosage stopped working, Richardson took more pills than prescribed. He believes the doctor upping the uppers planted the notion in his young mind that it was okay to “self-medicate” to achieve the feeling he desired, his parents welcomed and his teachers demanded.
By seventh grade, he wasn’t getting the euphoric kick from Adderall, so he tried marijuana—but it made him sick. So did PCP. He didn’t like getting drunk. Finally, he found meth, which did the trick. “It made me feel like I had on Adderall,” he says.
But Richardson found himself needing to smoke, shoot or swallow more and more meth to re-create the feeling. He now blames Adderall for turning him into an addict.
By his early high-school years, Morgan was turning to crime to satisfy his unquenchable need for meth. “I had to go to hustling, stealing, lots of different stuff, small stuff at first like surfboards, skateboards and bikes,” he says. “I’d swap those out to dealers in high school for speed. Gradually, as my addiction progressed, I started stealing electronics and burglarizing houses.
“I totally rationalized this. I was feeding a hunger. I was answering a fierce voice. Getting meth, you are very motivated. The motive for me was to feel normal. Nothing could put itself in my way to getting to that.”
When the meth stopped working, Richardson went for that drive with a shotgun riding shotgun.
Morgan's story is one that is extremely common for those that have struggled with ADHD & addiction.
Learning Disabilities & Drug Rehab often go hand in hand
Today, roughly 75% of the people who are coming into SouthCoast Recovery for crystal meth drug rehab treatment are people who as chlldren or teens were prescribed any of the myriad of stimulants or pyschostimulants to try to help them deal with the symptoms of their learning disabilities.
The consequences of the use of Adderall to treat learning disabilities can be extremely dangerous and taking high doses of a stimulant with the power of Adderall, Ritalin, or Concerta can result in an irregular heartbeat, dangerously high body temperatures, and/or increase the potential for cardiovascular failure or seizures. Taking high doses of these drugs repeatedly over a short period of time can lead to hostility or feelings of paranoia in some individuals. Adderall should not be mixed with antidepressants or over-the-counter common cold medicine containing decongestants. Antidepressants may enhance the effects of Adderall and taking Adderall with decongestants may cause blood pressure to become dangerously high or lead to irregular heart rhythms.
Unfortunately, because the drugs that are often used to treat learning disabilities like ADHD, ie: Adderall, Concerta, and Ritalin are chemically almost identical to Amphetamines and Methamphetamines, there is often a very high chance that people who were once prescribed any of these pyschostimulants normally taken to treat ADHD and learning disabilities of that ilk frequently end up abusing other drugs later life when the effects of the pyschostimulants no longer provide the same results. Often after trying out various illegal street drugs in an effort to get the same clarity and feelings of euphoria that they once got from the prescription pyschostimulants that they took as children or teens, these folks ultimately find themselves involved with crystal meth, becoming hooked and having to deal with all of the new problems that arise physically and mentally from abusing meth. Eventually many people who once took the legitimate drugs to treat their learning disability find themselves dealing with the reality that they have a major problem and need help, ending up in rehab; unfortunately, not everyone who goes down this path comes to this realization or gets the help that they need.
If you or a loved one has a similar story, we can help. Don’t let shame, embarrassment or doubts stop you from finding out more about how SouthCoast Recovery can help you overcome your addiction to prescription drug psycho-stimulants, crystal meth or methamphetamines as a result of a learning disability. Morgan’s story has a happy ending. After successfully completing treatment at SouthCoast Recovery, Morgan now works as one of our intake coordinators while completing the certification work necessary to be a counselor. Call today to find out from Morgan or one of our other professional care members how we can help you deal with your learning disabilities and overcome your drug addiction.
Dyslexia & Addiction Treatment
Dyslexics are ten times more likely than the overall population to become addicted to drugs and alcohol, a recent University study of 50 dyslexic participants shows. Of the addicts studied there, 40% were dyslexic compared with about 4% of the total population surveyed. In a recent survey of those working in the recovery field, it was further found that 82% of respondents said between 25% to 50% of their clients had reading difficulties, with 89% indicating they thought these difficulties were a barrier to recovery.
The feelings of inadequacy and the inability to learn at the same level as their classmates leads to severe anxiety and panic for many dyslexics, leading many to drift out of the classroom and drop out of school into the temptation of alcohol, drug and even criminal behaviors. Recognizing and treating the hidden cause of these disorders can be lifesaving to many — especially if diagnosis is made early and treatment begins before lives are destroyed. Unfortunately the symptoms and/or the specific effects of Dyslexia are frequently misunderstood, ignored or overlooked.
Learning Disabilities and Drug Rehab, Unfortunate Bedfellows
Your teen may be failing school because they are drinking and doing drugs.
In reality, your teen may be abusing drugs and drinking because they are failing school.
If your teen is failing in school it could be because they are part of the 40% of Americans with learning disabilities and their failure is almost always as a result of having a learning disability that no one recognizes. Teenagers with undiagnosed learning disabilities may be confused, depressed and suffer from low self-esteem as a result of academic failure. In an attempt to overcome the embarrassment and feelings of inadequacy, many teens may act out or seek comfort in drugs and alcohol which can quickly lead to addiction. In order for addiction treatment to be successful in teens and adults with learning disabilities such as Dyslexia, ADD or ADHD, the treatment program you choose for your loved on must address both their substance abuse and learning disabilities.
Learning disabilities are neurological disorders and are often genetic. The National Institutes of Health estimate that about one in five people has at least one learning disability that may make it difficult to learn to read or do mathematics. Researchers at Columbia University have estimated that roughly 11.8 million American children have learning disabilities, but only about three million have been diagnosed. Autism, mental retardation and conduct disorders are not learning disabilities. Often people with learning disabilities take in and process information differently than those without such disabilities and it can be hard for them to understand language easily or to organize their thoughts or their work. They may also have trouble reading social cues and making friends.
Teenagers who understand that they have a learning disability and who are able to succeed in certain areas are 99% less likely to become alcoholics or drug abusers. The teens at risk are the ones who do not understand or recognize how their learning disabilities are affecting their lives or have a support system to recognize and help support them in overcoming it.
A recent UC Santa Barbara study concluded that a greater proportion of those with learning disabilities are drug and alcohol abusers compared to the general population. It is now believed that drugs and alcohol can become a way for those with learning disabilities to self-medicate for depression, loneliness, guilt, feelings of inadequacy or shame. Drugs and alcohol can also be “equalizers” which distort reality for all members of a group using together and by using drugs or drinking, a teen with learning disabilities often finds group acceptance.
Some of the symptoms that cause drug and alcohol abuse among teenagers are the same associated with having a learning disability. Typical symptoms of both learning disabilities and substance abuse are isolation, poor concentration, failing grades and a bad attitude or general disregard toward school.
The first step toward getting help is to determine whether you or your teen may have a learning disability like dyslexia that could be contributing to drug and alcohol abuse. This is vital to getting the appropriate care so treatment is most effective. Treating drug or alcohol abuse will only be a temporary fix if the underlying issues of a learning disability are not addressed. At SouthCoast Recovery, we can help. Our clinical team has 43 years experience diagnosing and treating underlying issues that are contributing to substance abuse. For more information on how we can help, call us today.
We are here for you 24/7.
At SouthCoast Recovery, it’s about living.
We CAN help… CALL NOW.
PTSD & Addiction Treatment
There are many different factors when it comes to drug or alcohol abuse and addiction. . In the past few years SouthCoast Recovery has seen an increase in the number of people that are seeking recovery from drug addiction that also have some kind of learning disability. Combined with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorders and depression, professional staff members at SouthCoast Recovery have taken the time to create a path for people that are suffering from mood disorders combined with drug or alcohol addiction.
While Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is most often associated with veterans returning from war, it is characterized as an anxiety disorder that can occur after exposure to any traumatic event(s) that has seriously threatened one’s sense of safety or that of a loved one. PTSD is a severe reaction to a psychological trauma that overwhelms one’s defenses. Symptoms include nightmares and flashbacks, insomnia, anger management problems, hypersensitivity to normal life experiences and avoiding anything that could be associated with the trauma.
Learning disabilities can bring tremendous shame and guilt into a person’s life as they struggle to grasp what seems to come easily for those around them. Especially in the developmental years, it can be difficult and even traumatic to deal with these emotions and can help promote drug use to escape or seek comfort and relief. Drug abuse is an increasingly common solution to this problem. Frequent thoughts or feelings that people with learning disabilities may center around the idea that there’s something wrong with them. Consistent questions and feelings of inadequacy can manifest into stress and in severe cases, symptoms of PTSD. As a teenager or young person struggling with this situation everyday can become overwhelming. Over time the idea of seeking a better education, job or quality of life falls by the wayside along with hope and they seek increased comfort in alcohol or drug use. Over time people living with these underlying issues repress them further and further under increased alcohol and drug use that eventually becomes addiction.
Living an addict’s life is full of painful situations and compromises that most people will never know or understand. Things done under the influence can help either relieve symptoms of or bring about the onset of PTSD. The latter may involve experiencing someone's actual death or a threat to someone else's life, serious physical injury or threat to physical and/or psychological integrity to a degree that usual psychological defenses are incapable of coping. Drug abuse can and often does cause death. The choices that we make under the influence are not always the best and living with the guilt, shame and trauma only continues an already vicious cycle.
A learning disability is treatable, alcohol and drug addiction is treatable and PTSD is treatable if one recognizes the symptoms and seeks professional help. Unfortunately, all too often everything goes untreated and the individual continues to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs. At SouthCoast Recovery, we can help. Our clinical therapist has over 43 years helping people work through underlying issues that contribute to substance abuse. Every client receives a clinical evaluation to determine the potential for dual diagnosis, which is an underlying mood disorder such as PTSD combined with substance abuse. Learning disabilities are taken into account and a plan is then designed that combines the finest clinical care available with advanced holistic therapies of acupuncture, massage and meditation to help introduce healthier alternatives to managing the symptoms associated with PTSD. If you have become addicted to drugs and alcohol or are spiraling out of control because of PTSD, pick up the phone and talk to one of our intake coordinators. You don’t have to live with the shame, pain and emotional distress of learning disabilities, alcohol and drug addiction or PTSD. At SouthCoast Recovery, we can help you resolve your underlying issues and live a happy, healthy life without the use of drugs and alcohol.
Ipod & Addiction Treatment
We offer treatment and in most cases an end, not just a band-aid to the causes of your addiction. We do this by treating the unresolved feelings at the root of your problems. We have medical doctors who can offer medications during the process but our goal is to address and work through your problems rather than prescribing another drug to manage them.
SouthCoast Recovery offers personalized care and treatment that is reasonable in cost as opposed to hospitals where the costs are largely prohibitive. You will find that the cost per month is far smaller than the cost for a week at a hospital and we offer a cure, not additional medications.
In addition, you will stay in a comfortable residence with all the comforts of home in beautiful south Orange County with other residents who have similar problems. Contact with other residents, peer support and group processing is one of the most beneficial treatment modalities we offer. We also offer the most individual one-on-one clinical therapy sessions and drug and alcohol counseling sessions in the area in combination with holistic therapies of acupuncture and massage. Our intention is to provide a safe, environment where you can relax and focus on overall healing of mind, body and spirit with the support of those around you.
SouthCoast Recovery is working on an innovative program for those who struggle with learning disabilities. We offer some of the most advanced drug and alcohol program materials on the mind, body and spirit connection in the field of recovery. Our goal is to provide those with learning disabilities an advantage in our alcohol and drug treatment program through the use of ipods for auditory learning.
We offer a professional, caring staff with over 100 years combined experience in the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction. Our clinical therapist has over 43 years experience working with individuals who struggle with issues that contribute to addiction, including learning disabilities and PTSD. At SouthCoast Recovery, we believe that laughter is truly the best medicine and if you’ve forgotten how, we’ll show you. We are indeed a love-based program!
We are here for you 24/7.
At SouthCoast Recovery, it’s about living.
We CAN help… CALL NOW.
• Intervention services
• Physical health evaluation
• Medically-supervised, social model and holistic detox options
• Medication to help with cravings, pain and sleep
• Continued physical care throughout recovery
• Psychological evaluation for dual diagnosis of problems such as depression and anxiety, which may be underlying causes of abuse
• Individual psychological treatment
• Individual counseling
• Family counseling
• substance abuse education
• Health and wellness education
• Denial management
• Relapse prevention
• Anger management
• Acupuncture for pain management, stress reduction and decreased cravings
• Detoxification massage therapy
• Meditation for stress reduction, a calmer mind, reduced cravings and clarity
• Fitness sessions at gym (24-Hour Fitness)
• Integration of 12-step principles and Narcotics Anonymous meetings
• Structure, guidance and practice for long-term sobriety
Getting clean takes courage, guidance, and structure. SouthCoast Recovery offers intervention, detox, medication and other treatment options to help conquer drug or alcohol addiction. Our world-class clinical staff offers daily individual attention to get to the heart of the problem, deal with the wreckage and build the framework for a new, sobriety-based life.
We offer affordable, effective rehabilitation on the cutting-edge. Drug or Alcohol addiction requires extended care. We offer 30, 60 and 90-day treatment programs tailored to the individual’s needs. We blend clinical and holistic treatment methods to renew mind, body and spirit while restoring relationships, goals and purpose. This prepares our clients for long-term sobriety, allowing our addiction treatment program to excel where others fail.