Posts Tagged ‘Children and Medication’

An ADHD Epidemic or an Over-Diagnosis Epidemic?

December 26, 2013

ritalin

ADHD is only an epidemic because lazy doctors and greedy pharmaceutical companies have allowed it to be:

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) published a study “The amount of children on medication has reached an astounding 3.5 million up from 600,000 in 1990. Also an astounding 15% of high school kids are now diagnosed with ADHD.  The historical average was 5% of children were affected by ADHD.”

Dr. Connors of Duke University who fought to bring Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) into the spotlight is appalled and considers this a “national disaster of dangerous proportions.”  Many doctors are quick to diagnose and give out medications. This comes from a phenomenal marketing campaign by pharmaceutical companies that publicized the disorder and promoted the medication to medical practitioners. The proportion of children taking medication for ADHD increased with severity, from 56.4% among children with mild ADHD, to 71.6% among children with moderate ADHD and

Click on the link to read my post on More than 1 in 10 U.S. Children Diagnosed with ADHD!

Click on the link to read my post on Doctors are Hypocrites When it Comes to ADHD

Click on the link to read my post on Shock Horror: Sleep Deprived Children Diagnosed with ADHD Instead!

Click on the link to read my post on ‘If my Son was a Dog, I’d Have him Put Down’: Mother of ADHD Child

Click on the link to read my post on Why Are There So Many Children Exposed to Prescription Drugs?

Click on the link to read School Nurse Arrested for Stealing Students’ ADD Pills

Doctors are Hypocrites When it Comes to ADHD

November 12, 2013

ritalin

So doctors are now warning that ADHD is being over diagnosed. Over diagnosed by whom?

By dentists?

Vets?

Beauticians?

Doctors have been savagely over prescribing medication (Ritalin prescriptions have risen by 72% in Australia from 2000-2011), often for as little as concentration issues in class. This is not a reason to give children medication!

Why is it that we focus on the child that is not concentrating rather than the teacher that isn’t sufficiently engaging his/her class? How can we blame the student when the teacher has often invested nothing more than a trip to the photocopier machine in planning for their lesson.

Remember, the very same teachers that complain about the lack of concentration in their class can often be seen dozing off during a staff meeting or professional development seminar. If poor concentration is all it takes to earn a prescription, then teachers at staff meetings make for great Ritalin candidates!

For too long we have been allowing our children to be the guinea pigs for our obsession with the quick fix solution. I would have thought that one cannot make a proper determination about a child’s ADHD status until they have ruled out social issues, home life issues, dietary habits and sleeping patterns. But this due process often goes out the window, because those matters take time, patience and sensitivity. Who has got time for that when there’s a wonder drug that turns a daydreamer into a concentration machine?

So the doctors think too many children are diagnosed with ADHD. I wonder who they have to blame for that.

Click on the link to read my post on Shock Horror: Sleep Deprived Children Diagnosed with ADHD Instead!

Click on the link to read my post on ‘If my Son was a Dog, I’d Have him Put Down’: Mother of ADHD Child

Click on the link to read my post on Why Are There So Many Children Exposed to Prescription Drugs?

Click on the link to read School Nurse Arrested for Stealing Students’ ADD Pills

Click on the link to read The Rampant Misuse of ADHD Pills

Click on the link to read Is There Any Student Left Without a Disorder?

Why Are There So Many Children Exposed to Prescription Drugs?

May 6, 2013

rit

It is my ardent belief that there are far too many children on ADHD medication. Whilst I am clearly no expert, it bothers me when children are prescribed Ritalin and the like, when other factors such as diet, learning difficulties and personal issues have not been properly looked at.

It also bothers me that the amount of children taking prescription medication seems to be escalating markedly. Even the experts are starting to raise doubts about the over prescribing that seems to be taking place.

I sincerely don’t want to end up with the kind of numbers being reported in the US:

One-in-four U.S. teens has misused or abused a prescription drug at least once — a 33 percent increase in the past five years, experts say.

A survey by The Partnership at Drugfree.org and MetLife Foundation also found 1-in-8 U.S. teens reported taking the stimulants Ritalin or Adderall not prescribed for them at least once.

(more…)

The Rampant Misuse of ADHD Pills

October 15, 2012

 

A few years ago stories like this one were rare. Now few years down the track,  the misuse of medication among students has become a huge concern:

HSC students are taking illegally obtained prescription medication used to treat ADHD to help cram for their final school exams, which start tomorrow.

The Sun-Herald spoke to students from five schools across Sydney last week who admitted to using the medication, saying it improved their focus during study.

But medical experts warn that they are risking side effects as serious as psychosis and heart problems.

As students try to maximise their study hours, some are exchanging tips on internet forums about the most effective methods of combating fatigue. Comments posted on the boredofstudies.org website include debates about the effectiveness of caffeine pills and prescription medication, as well as cocaine and the hallucinogenic drug DMT.

A year 12 student from Ryde Secondary College said mixing crushed Ritalin in energy drinks was common among his peers “to get a good boost during tests”.

He tried the mixture while studying for his trial exams earlier this year, and said that it drastically increased his word rate.

“I was set to write around 2000 words but at the end I noticed I had written over 9000,” he said.

Students asked each other whether or not they sat the exams “natty” (naturally), he said.

He said the Ritalin costs $5 to $10 a pill. Students generally mix two to three with energy drinks, and also report snorting it.

“Usually a student who is prescribed it sells them to get some extra money,” the student said.

Click here to read my post, Who Needs Quality Teaching or Parenting When You Have Medications?

Click here to read my post, Get Your Kids on Ritalin Before Their Grades Suffer

Click here to read my post, It is Doctors Not Teachers Who Are Helping Children Get Good Grades

Click here to read my post, Doctors Create a New Normal by Over-Prescribing Drugs

The Drug Companies Are at it Again!

July 23, 2012

The drug companies are ruthless. Here they are again peddling any opportunity they can to get more children on medication:

Should all U.S. children get tested for high cholesterol? Doctors are still debating that question months after a government-appointed panel recommended widespread screening that would lead to prescribing medicine for some kids.

Fresh criticism was published online Monday in Pediatrics by researchers at one university who say the guidelines are too aggressive and were influenced by panel members’ financial ties to drugmakers.

Eight of the 14 guidelines panel members reported industry ties and disclosed that when their advice was published in December. They contend in a rebuttal article in Pediatrics that company payments covered costs of evaluating whether the drugs are safe and effective but did not influence the recommendations.

It also is not uncommon for experts in their fields to have received some consulting fees from drug companies.

‘Experts’ or lackeys for the drug companies?

Click Here to read Doctors Create a New Normal by Over-Prescribing Drugs

Click here to read ADHD Diagnosis a “Convenient Out For Lazy Teachers”: Dunham

It Used to be Called a Tantrum

July 4, 2012

Well done! You have taken another natural, everyday expression of emotion and turned it into a condition. I’m sure the pharmaceutical companies are licking their lips at the prospect of manufacturing another type of cocaine-like  pill for our latest condition – “Intermittent Explosive Disorder“:

Around the age of 12 or earlier, many kids — just over 5% of all adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17, according to a new study — report that they have  suffered attacks of anger that are destructive, frightening and wildly out of proportion to any provocation.

The abbreviation for Intermittent Explosive Disorder — IED — is particularly apt for these kids:

IED is also seen in adults. But it appears to be more widespread in adolescents, and the current study suggests that early adolescence (age 12) is where it most commonly starts.

Although a precise definition of this disorder has not been established, the authors of the latest study queried a total of 6,483 teens and their parents about the number  of disproportionate “anger attacks” the child had had in the past month, the past year, or ever. They also gathered information on what kind of behavior resulted — say, verbal threats, physical menacing or a rampage of throwing and breaking — and whether it resulted in the need for medical attention or the destruction of property worth more than a few dollars.

This makes me so angry! I think I’ve come down with SOSCED (sick of seeing children exploited disorder)!

It is Doctors Not Teachers Who Are Helping Children Get Good Grades

June 12, 2012

A big thank you must go out for all overprescribing doctors who are doing their bit to have children improve their grades. Thanks to your desire to see children succeed and your devotion to health, you have made amphetamine readily available to all those in need (and even for those not in need).

He steered into the high school parking lot, clicked off the ignition and scanned the scraps of his recent weeks. Crinkled chip bags on the dashboard. Soda cups at his feet. And on the passenger seat, a rumpled SAT practice book whose owner had been told since fourth grade he was headed to the Ivy League. Pencils up in 20 minutes.

“No one seems to think that it’s a real thing — adults on the outside looking in. The other kids in rehab thought we weren’t addicts because Adderall wasn’t a real drug. It’s so underestimated,” said a recent graduate of McLean High School in Virginia, who was given a diagnosis of A.D.H.D. and was prescribed Adderall.

Adderall and similar drugs are not hard to obtain at high school, many students say. They can also be found online.

The boy exhaled. Before opening the car door, he recalled recently, he twisted open a capsule of orange powder and arranged it in a neat line on the armrest. He leaned over, closed one nostril and snorted it.

Throughout the parking lot, he said, eight of his friends did the same thing.

The drug was not cocaine or heroin, but Adderall, an amphetamine prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder that the boy said he and his friends routinely shared to study late into the night, focus during tests and ultimately get the grades worthy of their prestigious high school in an affluent suburb of New York City. The drug did more than just jolt them awake for the 8 a.m. SAT; it gave them a tunnel focus tailor-made for the marathon of tests long known to make or break college applications.

“Everyone in school either has a prescription or has a friend who does,” the boy said.

At high schools across the United States, pressure over grades and competition for college admissions are encouraging students to abuse prescription stimulants, according to interviews with students, parents and doctors. Pills that have been a staple in some college and graduate school circles are going from rare to routine in many academically competitive high schools, where teenagers say they get them from friends, buy them from student dealers or fake symptoms to their parents and doctors to get prescriptions.

Of the more than 200 students, school officials, parents and others contacted for this article, about 40 agreed to share their experiences. Most students spoke on the condition that they be identified by only a first or middle name, or not at all, out of concern for their college prospects or their school systems’ reputations — and their own.

“It’s throughout all the private schools here,” said DeAnsin Parker, a New York psychologist who treats many adolescents from affluent neighborhoods like the Upper East Side. “It’s not as if there is one school where this is the culture. This is the culture.”

Thank you doctors! What would the educational fraternity do without you?

Doctors Create a New Normal by Over-Prescribing Drugs

June 10, 2012

Some doctors seem to relish the opportunity to prescribe psychiatric drugs. After all, from the perspective of a passive observer, prescriptions of such medication are becoming all too frequent. I wonder if it will get to the stage when those not on drugs will feel left out and marginalised because of it:

PRESCRIPTIONS of antipsychotic drugs given to children have doubled in only five years, data obtained under freedom of information laws shows.

Antidepressant prescriptions have also risen, bucking international trends to reduce the use of the drugs after they were linked to children developing suicidal thoughts.

A psychiatry professor at the University of Adelaide, Jon Jureidini, said he was concerned antidepressant medication use was increasing despite warnings about suicide risks.

He said antidepressants should almost never be used in children.

After the US drug regulator issued a warning about the risk of suicide in children and teenagers taking antidepressants, there was a 58 per cent drop in the use of the drugs.

Yet between 2007 and 2011 in Australia antidepressant prescriptions increased from nearly 22 prescriptions per 1000 children aged below 16 to nearly 27, data provided to the Herald by the Department of Human Services under freedom of information laws shows.

Last year there were about 14 antipsychotic prescriptions for every 1000 children, compared with seven in 2007.

Professor Jureidini said it was likely the increase in the prescription of antipsychotics could be explained by doctors prescribing the drugs for behavioural problems, or by conditions such as personality disorder being reclassified as bipolar disorder and then treated with antipsychotics.

”There has been a very significant increase in the prescription of antipsychotic drugs and we can be pretty confident there has not been an increase in psychosis,” he said.

Antipsychotics are recommended for the treatment of children with conditions such as bipolar disorder, in some cases. National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines say doctors can consider prescribing an antidepressant for childhood depression in the short term, where psychological therapy has not been effective or has been refused.

Professor Jureidini said more monitoring of the drugs and their side effects was needed, along with training for GPs on non-pharmacological treatments.

A clinical adviser to the National Prescribing Service, Philippa Binns, said those who were prescribing antipsychotics and antidepressants to children should be specialists in children’s psychiatric problems.

I plead to doctors worldwide to please resist from writing a prescription for drugs unless you have tried all  other options which have turned out to be unsuccessful.

ADHD Diagnosis a “Convenient Out For Lazy Teachers”: Dunham

May 1, 2012

I commend for her courageous piece on the rising rates of ADD and ADHD diagnosis. Ms, Durham refuses to pull punches, raising a view I have been quite vocal about – the dubious role of teachers in the diagnosis process. Deborah suggests that teachers may be taking the lazy approach instead of the responsible one. She also raises strong arguments about the lack of research about the long-term ramifications of taking Ritalin, the contribution of diet to a child’s mental state and the lack of engagement and stimulation in school.

I’m starting to wonder if it’s possible for doctors, teachers and parents to diagnose kids with anything other than  Attention Deficit Disorder? According to a new study, the rate that kids are diagnosed continues to increase by 5.5% each year, but are there really that many more kids with ADD and ADHD? It seems like this has become a convenient “out” for many lazy teachers, doctors and parents who don’t know what to do with kids who don’t fit the “mold”.

The rates of ADHD diagnosis in the developed world increased annually by an average of 3% from 1997 to 2006 and 5.5% from 2003 to 2007 in the U.S. But researchers wanted to know–as did we–how accurate these diagnoses really are.

Led by a team of researchers at the University of Basel’s Katrin Bruchmueller, 473 child and adolescent psychotherapists and psychiatrists across Germany were surveyed on how they diagnose people with ADD or ADHD. In three out of the four cases, the described symptoms and circumstances did not fulfill ADHD diagnostic criteria. In fact, many mental health practitioners were found to base their decisions on unclear standards.

For example, male patients were more readily diagnosed when they displayed symptoms such as impulsiveness, motoric restlessness and lack of concentration–all things that can be perfectly normal when growing up. Boys were more likely to be diagnosed than girls, and on the same note, male doctors tended to diagnose ADHD more frequently than their female counterparts.

In short, what the researchers found what that ADHD is over-diagnosed because doctors rely too much on their intuition and not on a defined set of criteria.

All of this is troubling because it means that kids are the ones who are suffering as a result. Instead of taking the time to accurately diagnose them (if there is even anything at all wrong besides just being a “kid”), they are put on brain-altering drugs which is risky for anyone, especially someone who is still young and developing.

More than three million kids in the U.S. take drugs for their supposed difficulty focusing. In 30 years there has been a twentyfold increase in the consumption of these. And while medications like Ritalin may help increase concentration in the short term, not enough is known about the long-term health consequences–although some say drugs like this can stunt a child’s growth, other speculate that they can cause heart problems and even sudden death.

But is it really possible that three million kids in our country really suffer from ADD or ADHD, or has this just become a catch-all diagnosis by lazy doctors, parents and teachers?

We know that an unhealthy diet, sugar, processed foods, stress and a lack of sleep and exercise can all contribute to someone’s mental state. So, it’s entirely possible that our society has become so unhealthy that we are the ones creating these problems in our kids. And it’s not always synthetic drugs that are the answer.

The other issue that could be a major factor here is that kids are not engaged and stimulated in school enough. Taking millions of kids who all have different learning styles and trying to force them to comply and fit into one method of learning does not work. No one can possibly be expected to sit at a tiny, uncomfortable desk for eight hours a day in a classroom with florescent lights and the blinds drawn on the windows. Yet, when a child doesn’t conform, they are thought to have ADD.

Perhaps instead of jumping to conclusions and forcing our kids to swallow mind-altering drugs in order to fit our ideals of how they should behave, all of us–parents, teachers and doctors–should take more time to fully evaluate the unique learning style and personality that each child has and then alter how we interact with them accordingly. That’s not to say that everyone is lazy (because they aren’t) and there aren’t some legitimate cases of ADD (because there certainly are), but research like this points to the fact that we need to take more time and better understand how to consistently diagnose this disorder.

101 Ways to Misdiagnose ADHD

March 20, 2012

I am not sure if ADHD exists or not. Since I am not a doctor or medical professional, I will decide to err on the side of caution and give ADHD the benefit of the doubt. But whether or not it exists doesn’t seem to be the pressing issue. The issue seems more to do with the poor children misdiagnosed with ADHD in what seems to be a completely haphazard fashion:

A STUDY of almost a million Canadian children has found those born in December, the last month of the school year intake, are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD and medicated for it than those born in January.

Relative immaturity may result in the inappropriate diagnosis of ADHD, the University of British Columbia researchers suggest.

They raise “concerns about the potential harms of overdiagnosis and overprescribing” for the condition. Children given medication for ADHD may suffer adverse effects on sleep, appetite and growth and face increased risk of cardiovascular events, the paper says.

Inappropriate diagnosis may lead teachers and parents to treat the child differently and change self-perceptions.

The study in this month’s Canadian Medical Association Journal, found boys born in December were 30 per cent more likely to receive a diagnosis of ADHD than boys born in January and 41 per cent more likely to be given medication for ADHD.

The medical fraternity has let themselves down with ADHD. It seems from this untrained eye that too many kids are being diagnosed with this condition and therefore, too many kids are needlessly medicated. What this does is bunch real sufferers of ADHD with kids who have come down with a bout of, for example, immaturity.


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