By Bill Hanks
My name is Bill Hanks and I’m, well…complicated. Clinically, I’m a recovering addict/alcoholic—with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) to boot—who, after 22 years of consuming a plethora of mind-bending toxins, is very much grateful to be alive.
It is the relationship between ADD & addiction that I wish to expand upon. I happen to believe that a significant correlation exists, all stemming from what I call the “awakening” effect that chemicals have on the ADD brain. With that said, let me start by saying that in my day, we didn’t know ADD. Instead, I was simply dismissed as “incorrigible” and a leather belt took the place of Ritalin.
The commonality between ADD & addiction has to do with neurotransmitters in the brain. In the case of ADD/ADHD, there exists a chemical imbalance affecting the pre-frontal cortex and thus disrupting focus, attention, and impulse control. This would account for the fact that my thoughts often became words and actions before I was consciously aware of what I was thinking. In other words, I often found out what I was thinking from what I had just said. I spent a lot of time in detention.
In other words, when I began taking drugs as a 16 year-old kid, I went from making C’s and D’s in school to making A’s and B’s.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t until I entered rehab 22 years later that I was diagnosed ADD. All I knew as a kid was “drugs made me smarter,” thereby validating their use.
Like any disorder, the key is catching an early diagnosis.
– Bill Hanks is the author of a self-help memoir titled “Serenity: It’s a God Deal” ~ (finding your way to sobriety, sanity, and serenity). For more information about the author and book, to read excerpts, reviews, and op-eds, go to www.billhanks-serenity.com.