Effective Treatment Programs for ADHD in Adults. Undoubtedly so, the U.S. is currently facing a mental health crisis as well as a lack of adequate mental health care. The latter factor is actually contributing to the former, making the issue an ever-worsening cycle. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “In 2021, among the 57.8 million adults with AMI [any mental illness], 26.5 million (47.2%) received mental health services in the past year,” and “the percentage of young adults aged 18-25 years with AMI who received mental health services (44.6%) was lower than adults.” This represents the need for more recovery options, including treatment programs for ADHD.
Never Ignoring or Minimizing Adult ADHD
One of the issues standing in the way of receiving effective treatment for adult ADHD is that it isn’t a mental health disorder that gets much attention. Yet, in the U.S. alone, millions of individuals currently struggle with adult ADHD every day.
Another issue regarding adult ADHD is that it can be minimized by those who don’t understand the disorder. The first possible explanation for this is that people see ADHD as solely an adolescent mental health disorder and, in turn, make the false assumption that it is something that can be grown out of. Further, the second possible explanation is that ADHD has become a popular buzzword and is often used colloquially and dismissively. For example, “I can’t concentrate today, I’m so ADHD.” Nevertheless, those aware of the disorder are also aware of the fallacy of minimizing the seriousness of untreated ADHD in adults.
Effective Treatment Programs for ADHD
The good news is that there are effective treatment programs available for all levels of severity of adult ADHD. These options include residential (inpatient) care, partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), and general outpatient programs (GOPs).
Now, while there are certainly some less common cases that require residential care or partial hospitalization, treatment for adult ADHD typically lies in the realm of outpatient care. Based on the severity of the symptoms, those who need more initial attention may benefit from an IOP, and those with less may opt for a GOP. There is also the ideal option of transitioning from an IOP to a GOP.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment Programs for ADHD
An IOP can be a great option for individuals who can keep one foot in their everyday lives while also getting the type of focused attention that they need. Also, an IOP is good because it generally requires more check-ins and helps individuals remain on top of and engaged in their recovery plans.
IOPs are also ideal for individuals who may be struggling with other co-occurring disorders in addition to their adult ADHD. For example, individuals struggling with addiction comorbidity can also get help for these issues while they are receiving treatment for adult ADHD. This is especially true if there is a type of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) as part of their recovery plan. Now, for individuals who do not need as much involvement on-site at a recovery center, a GOP may be the better choice.
General Outpatient Treatment Programs for ADHD
A big part of GOP is “disease management” and “therapeutic experience.” What this means is that a GOP is a great option for individuals to enact what they have already learned in their recovery journey.
GOPs are more about utilizing the tools that have already been cultivated through intensive work with both mental health professionals and other individuals in their specific recovery community. Generally, new modalities are not introduced here, rather individuals check in with specialists to see how the methods they learned are working in the real world.
As with individuals transitioning down from an IOP to a GOP, a big part of a GOP is learning how to transition fully back into everyday life. Of course, it is highly advised that certain aspects of recovery remain in some capacity, such as scheduled therapy sessions. This is especially true if medication is involved, which is quite common for individuals recovering from adult ADHD.