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December 1, 2014   

Attention Talk News 


In This Issue . . .  


Have you ever considered the frightening statistical friendship of ADHD with substance abuse?  Did you know that the risk of substance abuse in people with ADHD is six times higher than in others? The statistics are quite ugly and only contribute to the isolation suffered as a result of substance abuse. But whether we grapple with abuse of drugs, alcohol, or something else, there is still hope. Check out our featured article this month by ADD CrusherTM Alan Brown, titled "The Relationship of ADHD and Substance Abuse."  

Which is more costly to universities and colleges in the long run? Having a disability services office that no one uses, or mandating coaching for all incoming freshmen? In our interview with Dr. Theresa Maitland, titled "ADHD College Students Don't Want Help," Neil Peterson and Jeff Copper bet that the current disability system is more expensive over the long run. What do you think?


Intimacy is being comfortable and vulnerable, but unchecked behavior is the opposite, according to Dr. Sarah Ferman and Dr. Robert Wilford. Do you think structured interaction could help ADHD couples manage unchecked behavior in favor of intimacy? Listen to our interview with them, titled "ADHD: Turning the Tide on Relationships and Intimacy." 


Have you ever declared email bankruptcy? Eric Tivers had to when his unread emails totaled over 27,000. In our interview, titled "ADHD and Technology: Task Automation vs. Task Management," Eric talks about time, reminders, data capture, and processing as key tools in building systems to automate tasks around them. Have you thought about processing automation in the same way?  


According to Elaine Taylor-Klaus, the biggest bully for most of us is ourselves! In our video interview with her, titled "ADHD: Bullying - Putting the Stick Down," being bullied or being the bully is just a different manifestation of the same issue. What do you think? How do you manage the bully in you?   


And don't miss Jeff Copper's on-location video, "ADHD Tip: Ugly Organizational Systems Are Not So Bad." So, get organized... go ugly early! You'll find the details in the Attention Talk Video section of this issue.

Is a minute a long time? It depends on how you frame it. In our video interview, titled "ADHD Tip: Reframing Time," Alan Brown finds reframing time to be a powerful brain hack. Do you think you can take a minute or two and play with the concept? It will only take a minute or two.

Tom Nardone finds most ADHD blogs to be boring. As a result, he likes to spice things up by talking about real-life ADHD. For example, blogging about going to the store in his onesy pajamas. Check out our video with Tom, titled "ADHD Blogger: The Champion of ADD Awesomeness."

Are you attending to the right thing? If you haven't done it yet, download our new a-Book (the "a" is for attention), "Identify YOUR Top Five Hurdles to Managing ADD/ADHD."  It has tips Jeff has learned from doing over 300 interviews with ADHD experts. Let your friends know about it, too! They can download it here:

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The Relationship of ADHD and Substance Abuse
by Alan Brown, ADD CrusherTM
Recently I blogged about the power of AWARENESS as an ADHD alternative treatment. Awareness of the impact of diet... of the full range of treatment options... of the damage of unchecked negative self-talk... of your own strengths and weaknesses, etc. All things that can empower you if you have greater awareness. Well, you can add to that list, awareness of the frightening statistical friendship of ADHD and substance abuse. Once again, I've listened to an archived show on Attention Talk Radio - this time, an interview with clinical psychologist Dr. David Teplin - and come away with a must-write blog on substance abuse as one of the top adult ADHD symptoms.

Some Hallucination-Inducing ADHD Statistics
Did you know that those with ADHD are six times more at risk for substance abuse than the general population, and will suffer with the abuse for a longer time? It gets uglier...  
  • Up to 45% of adults with ADHD are alcohol abusers.
  • Up to one third abuse illegal drugs.
  • Between 35% and 71% of all alcoholics are also ADHD!
  • Between 15% and 25% of drug abusers are also ADHD.
  • ADHD adults are disproportionately represented among patients in treatment centers (not to mention also among the prison population, which I blogged about from the 2012 ADHD Coaches Organization conference).


Wow, not lookin' so good for us!! And that's not all - don't forget all the behavioral issues that result from these abuses: drunken driving, arrests, failed relationships, poor career prospects...and on and on. As if the ADHD alone weren't bad ENOUGH!!!

But wait! There's more! Then we of course have to contend with the frequent ADD/ADHD co-morbidities of anxiety, depression, bi-polar, oppositional defiance disorder, and so on - that make matters worse, as well as confounding proper diagnosis and treatment.

WHAT is Going ON Here?!?
Well, as a former alcohol and drug abuser myself, I'm not surprised at all these ugly stats and the isolation of substance abuse as one of the most prevalent adult ADHD symptoms.

Looking back at my teen years, it's pretty clear how I got my start. They say marijuana is the gateway drug - but I feel regular old cigarettes are a bigger gateway for ADDers. And sure enough, we ADDers start smoking earlier that the average kid smoker - and are less likely to quit. And the gateway effect is aided and abetted by the gravitation to permissive peers and like-minded others who'll accept us and our behaviors, making for a snowball effect. Here are some of the why's that Dr. Teplin touched on...

  • Both we ADDers and substance abusers tend to lack sufficient amounts of dopamine. Abuse, just like all risky behaviors, counters that dopamine deficit. (Hmmm. Is THAT why they call it dope?)
  • Nicotine is a mild stimulant. Its mild 'upper' effect probably contributes to the attraction and difficulty in quitting.
  • Alcohol and marijuana are both depressants that might have a calming effect on hyperactivity.
  •  As ADHD sufferers, we're likely to be defined as failing, outcasts, not up to par - all great reasons to go have a drink! 

But back to the awareness lesson here. Whether or not we are grappling with some substance, having the knowledge about this dysfunctional relationship can help our overall mission of greater understanding, facing new challenges - and maybe even equip us to help a fellow ADDer in need. If someone you suspect of having attention disorders also has this most pernicious of adult ADHD symptoms, approach gently....Bless!!

2013 Alan Brown, ADD Crusher. All rights reserved.
Reprinted with permission.


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Listen to Recent Radio Shows in Our Archives
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ADHD College Students Don't Want Help
Parents want to help those with ADHD succeed in college. Colleges and universities want to help them succeed and provide services and accommodations, yet only about 20% of those with such disability actually participate in services. This is a shock to Jeff Copper, host of Attention Talk Radio. In this episode, he interviews Dr. Theresa Maitland around the startling research around this phenomenon and shares the thoughts and views of many other experts in the area as to why this is and what could be done about it. If your child is in high school or college and is impacted by ADHD, don't miss this show..

Marriage and relationships are difficult to begin with. Adding kids doesn't make it any easier! But add ADHD to the relationship and... UGH! Often, romance and intimacy take a back seat when the business of the family becomes front and center, and the challenges of ADHD are magnified so that the relationship is stressed. In this episode, host and ADHD coach Jeff Copper talks to Dr. Sarah Ferman and Dr. Robert Wilford about the counterintuitive nature of getting relationships back on the right track, the importance of awareness and empathy, and their model for rebuilding and strengthening closeness, romance, and intimacy. If your ADHD relationship is on the rocks, you can't afford not to invest time in this show.
 ADHD and Technology: Task Automation vs. Task Management
Got ADHD? What is task automation and task management? Are they different or the same? What role do they play in building systems that work? How can a person with ADHD use this technology to their advantage? In this episode of Attention Talk Radio we interview ADHD professional and techno app junkie Eric Tivers around these key concepts. If you have ADHD and are seduced by the lure of technology to help you get organized, you won't want to miss this show.

ADHD: Bullying: Putting the Stick Down
ADHD and bullying are bad enough on their own, but together, they are negatively leveraged. In this episode we talk with Elaine Taylor-Klaus of on the topic of bullying. We'll address being bullied by others, but also being bullied by yourself and the need to put down the stick. If you or your children are impacted by bullying, this is a show you won't want to miss. 

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Video News



ADHD Tips: Ugly Organizational Systems Are Not So Bad

Organization isn't always pretty; in fact, it can be downright ugly, for many ugly organizational systems are more effective than pretty ones. In this episode of Attention Talk Video, ADHD and attention coach Jeff Copper shares organizational insights and why many times ugly is the way to go. If you have ADHD and struggle with organization, you might want to check out this video! 

ADHD Tip: Ugly Organizational Systems Are Not So Bad


ADHD Tip: Reframing Time 

How long is four seconds? An eternity in the silence of your own mind but almost a quarter of a mile if you are doing 180 mph on a motorcycle, as ADD Crusher™ Alan Brown ( likes to do on his motorcycle. In this episode of Attention Talk Video, we talk to Alan about his practical brain Zen hacks to reframe time. If you struggle with time, watch this interview.
ADHD Tip: Reframing Time
ADHD Blogger: The Champion of ADD Awesomeness
Tom Nardone has ADHD and frequently blogs in celebration of his proclaimed awesomeness!  Watch our interview with Tom "The ADHD Conference Crasher" Nardone ( for a dose of his outrageous perspective.  If you have ADHD, are called to blog and want to get noticed, gain insight as Tom Nardone shares his perspective on all this and more.
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Copyright 2014 Attention Talk News, Tampa, FL, USA.  All rights reserved. 

Editor's Note

Jeff Copper, Editor

Our intention is to share audio, video, and printed content to capture your interest and perhaps inspire you to pay attention to something differently. Enjoy.

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