Can a Learning Disorder Impair Addiction Recovery?

Can a Learning Disorder Impair Addiction Recovery?

If you have both a Xanax addiction and a learning disorder, this condition is called a co-occurring, concurrent or Dual Diagnosis

Addiction recovery is a lifelong process, but it begins when a person enters inpatient or outpatient treatment. Part of that treatment involves learning new ideas, new information and new ways of thinking. Completing treatment is an arduous and difficult process for most people. Unfortunately it can be an even more difficult experience for people who have been diagnosed with a Specific Learning Disorder.

The American Psychological Association (APA) designates Specific Learning Disorder as a diagnosis that incorporates learning deficits that impact a person’s academic achievement. To be diagnosed with a Specific Learning Disorder, a person must demonstrate persistent difficulties to understand or use language or do mathematical calculations. According to the Learning Disabilities Association of America, 60 percent of adults with severe literacy problems have undetected or untreated learning disabilities. Furthermore a 2001 report issued by the APA Monitor on Psychology indicated that substance abuse overlaps significantly with learning disabilities. Researchers theorize that learning disabilities often cause a person to experience lowered self-esteem, loneliness and depression, which are behaviors that often lead to substance abuse like Xanax.

Types of Learning Disorders

Learning disorders affect a person’s ability to interpret incoming stimuli, like words, sounds or numbers, and link information from different parts of the brain. Often this leads to difficulty reading, writing or doing math.

According to a 2010 article from Psychology Today, common learning disorders include the following:

  • Dyslexia – This is a reading and language-based disorder. A person with this problem may not understand letters, word groupings or paragraph. A person with dyslexia may see the letter “b” as the letter “d.” He may write the word “no” instead of the word “on.” Dyslexia is not a vision problem but rather a disruption in how the brain interprets the data coming in from the eyes.
  • Dysgraphia – This disorder involves a person’s problem with writing words. A person may not form letters correctly. Writing neatly is difficult and time-consuming. Even when written carefully, words may still be difficult to read. For someone with this disorder, written assignments always take extra time and may be incomplete.
  • Information-processing disorders – These learning disorders are related to a person’s ability to use the information provided by the senses. The condition affects the way the brain recognizes, retrieves and stores information from what is seen or heard. Common disorders under this category include auditory processing disorder and visual processing disorder. Both of which impact writing, spelling and reading comprehension.

These types of learning disorders are only a sampling of the difficulties that some people experience with understanding and interpreting language, words and symbols. This difficulty will significantly impact areas of a person’s life including addiction recovery.

How Drugs Affect Learning

A learning disorder may influence or trigger drug use and make recovery more difficult. This can be further complicated by the drugs themselves, which can alter a person’s ability to learn. For example a 2012 article from USA Today reported that heavy marijuana use can affect a person’s ability to think clearly, to remember, to organize thoughts and to complete multiple tasks at the same time. A 2010 article from Addiction Science and Clinical Practice indicated that chronic amphetamine and heroin users show lowered cognitive skills. Also the article reported that the regions of the brain that underlie addiction overlap with regions of the brain that support including learning, memory and reasoning. Over time drugs actually make it difficult to establish and sustain a drug-free life. This highlights the importance of dealing with an addiction early.

How Learning Disorders Affect Recovery—Dual Diagnosis

Addiction treatment involves all aspects of a person’s life. A recovering Xanax addict will be encouraged to read books and pamphlets, write in a journal and speak in a group and one-on-one setting. This intense learning and relearning can be a challenge for anyone, but it is especially challenging for someone with a learning disorder especially if that disorder has gone undiagnosed. To make the best of your time in rehab, it is critical for you let your treatment staff know about your disorder so that they can treat your problems together.

If you have both a Xanax addiction and a learning disorder, this condition is called a co-occurring, concurrent or Dual Diagnosis. This means that while you undergo rehab, your treatment staff will not only work with you on your addiction, but also your learning disorder. They can tailor the program to meet your specific learning needs. Some treatment centers even specialize in helping recovering addicts who struggle with learning disorders. They can give you treatment options that will not frustrate you or make you feel unable to complete the program.

Getting Help for Your Xanax Addiction and Learning Disorder

If you are struggling with a Xanax addiction and a learning disorder, we can help. You can call our toll-free helpline any time, 24 hours a day. You can talk with one of our trained admission coordinators who understands the nature of addiction. He or she can also help you find a treatment facility that caters to people with learning disorders. Having a learning disability can make recovery more difficult, but not impossible. Call us today, and learn how you can start on the road to a drug-free life.

Are you ready to seek treatment?

If you are ready to beat a Xanax addiction and start a new life in recovery then we can help. We have admission counselors standing by 24 hours a day to take your email, live chat request, or phone call to get you in the addiction treatment center that best fits your unique & specific needs.