ADHD: Big Pharma’s Answer for When Johnny Won’t Behave
In Mrs. Jones’s kindergarten class, Johnny doesn’t behave like the other little boys. He squirms and fidgets a lot, leaves his seat during instruction, jabbers constantly, and has a hard time waiting his turn during recess. Obviously, this causes some concern for Mrs. Jones. Her first inclination may be to take steps to have him “evaluated.”
Though Mrs. Jones probably has the best of intentions, what this means is Johnny has a very good chance of being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. The disturbing fact is despite the diagnosis, he may not actually have it.
Approximately one million American children may have been diagnosed with ADHD based on behaviors like Johnny’s. This indicates a stark rise in diagnoses. Though his behaviors are characteristic of ADHD, they are also characteristic of immature children who have the misfortune of being the youngest in their class. If their fellow classmates are as little as eight months older, they will appear to be much more mature by comparison. This means often the immaturity of younger children is incorrectly diagnosed as ADHD.
Big Pharma’s solution.
Diagnosing ADHD is a subjective procedure. There isn’t a medical test for ADHD - diagnosis relies largely on teachers’ evaluations. The evaluation process involves filling out very long and detailed forms that help describe behavior.
Then another evaluation takes place at the doctor’s office. After that, guess what generally happens? The doctor prescribes a pill to “fix” the problem.
Behavior modifying drugs like Ritalin™ are often the prescribed to make children more manageable. This is alarming because we don’t know the long-term effects of such stimulants. In addition, according to Science Daily, these wrong diagnoses waste up to $500 million a year and $80 million to $90 million of that is paid by Medicaid. All of this waste goes to medicine that isn’t needed in the first place.
The dangers of behavior-modifying drugs.
Drugs such as Ritalin™, Concerta™, Adderall™, and Strattera™ are the conventional drugs of choice for managing ADHD. Some contain psychostimulants similar to the compounds found in cocaine or amphetamines. For that reason, it’s not uncommon for students from middle school to college to sell them to their peers. Getting a hold of them is as easy as getting any street drug.
And they can be just as addictive. Brain imaging shows Ritalin™ reacts chemically in the brain just like smoked or injected cocaine behaves. The horror of this is our society is creating a generation of drug addicts, setting these children up for addictions simply because they don’t act their age.
It’s very possible other children exhibiting signs of ADHD don’t need drugs to turn their behavior around. More than likely, proper nutrition will make a world of difference in the way control their own behavior.
If you’re a parent and you feel your child has been improperly diagnosed with ADHD, empower yourself with the facts before you allow your child to receive addictive prescription drugs. Keep in mind that a child that really has ADHD will exhibit the symptoms around that clock – that means at school and at home. If he or she is hyperactive only at school, the problem isn’t ADHD. It may be something as simple as being 5 years old in a class of mostly 6 years old. You have the final say in what happens to your child.