Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Drugged Children

In the New York Times today, a disturbing look at the use of ADHD meds to boost the performance of struggling students.
Quintn began taking Adderall for A.D.H.D. about five years ago, when his disruptive school behavior led to calls home and in-school suspensions. He immediately settled down and became a more earnest, attentive student — a little bit more like Perry, who also took Adderall for his A.D.H.D.

When puberty’s chemical maelstrom began at about 10, though, Quintn got into fights at school because, he said, other children were insulting his mother. The problem was, they were not; Quintn was seeing people and hearing voices that were not there, a rare but recognized side effect of Adderall. After Quintn admitted to being suicidal, Dr. Anderson prescribed a week in a local psychiatric hospital, and a switch to Risperdal.
Words fail me.


  1. Don't get me started. The rant is bubbling up and about to explode.

    Aren't you lucky? I don't have time now. I'll give you a preview. Child abuse, drug peddling. Let's put up with crummy schools and just drug the kids into compliance and zombies.

    No, I didn't say we should ban ALL ADHD meds. And now I'm going to free associate to our ballooning ADHD culture. Because from where I sit, from what I've seen, there's a lot more drug pushing out there than most parents realize. It's insidious. It's cunning. No, I'm not some hippy herbalist. Just alarmed at the chokehold Big Pharma has on pediatric psychotropic drugs.

    CHADD loves to say, "there's a risk to medicating. But there's a bigger risk to not medicating." Wow, how poetic. How gut wrenching. Which parent wouldn't fall for that? Medicating is scary. But what if you don't medicate? Muuuuuuuch scarier.

    Except it's not true. CHADD isn't overtly pushing drugs. They don't say EVERY ADD kid should go on it. But they do actually. It is the rare psychiatrist who says, yep, you've got ADD, but let's try something else. Let's make medication a last resort.

    Go to their national conference and medication talk is EVERYWHERE. I went years ago. I volunteered to get some free programming as it was in my back yard that year. I worked registration. It was fun. I marveled at the slick set up, so high tech. How could a non-profit afford this? Guess who sponsored the conference? You guessed it. Novartis.

    Case closed.

  2. HWB, go ahead and rant. In fact, feel free to write a guest post!