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Attention Disorder or Not, Pills to Help in School

October 25, 2012

As a society American is constantly trying to find short cuts; the faster and cheaper the better in many cases. The need for the quick and cheap fix becomes more apparent in lower income families. Along with long work days and putting a hot meal on the table every night the added stress of raising children becomes a daunting task, especially if they are struggling in the class room.  

A.D.H.D. in America in 2007 was stated to be about 9.5% of all children age four to seventeen in America. Or in other words 5.4 million children. With these staggering numbers it seemed too farfetched to modify that many children’s environments so we ultimately decided to modify the children as individuals with a drug called Adderall. It was the easier and cheaper solution to the problem.

Ever since Adderall became a necessity in treating A.D.H.D. and the effects of the drugs became common knowledge, it has been prescribed to countless numbers of people. Some prescriptions have been given frivolously to some who want to already improve on good grades or use the drug in other situations that require immense focus.

The problem is apparent. A.D.H.D. is a psychiatric and neurobehavioral disorder that when is true in a patient needs to be diagnosed with a remedy that will not take away from a child’s authentic development. There are side effects to taking Adderall such as growth suppression, increased blood pressure and in some rare cases psychotic episodes. Long term use of Adderall could result in a crutch effect that would make people become completely reliant on the drug even if they do not need it any longer. Something must be done to shift our focus from fixing individual children to fixing the environment these children of need are in. More resources that focus on behavior-based therapies such as tutoring and family counseling need to become more readily available to the public so that prescribing drugs is not the only option that community psychologists have to treat this disorder.

David Parker

file:///C:/Users/D.%20Parker/Desktop/NYTimes%20Blog.webarchive

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 9, 2012 6:33 am

    I also wrote my blog post on the use of prescriptions in children who may or may not have A.D.H.D. and agree with a lot of the points that were made here. It is saddening to think that the focus is being placed on changing the children and not in changing their environments. I do not understand why doctors are prescribing these medications to children who do not even have A.D.H.D. The fact that doctors are giving these medications to children who want to improve their grades or just have situations where they really need to focus is horrible. This post says that something must be done to shift the focus off of fixing the individual children and onto fixing the environment. I could not agree with this statement more. The focus should truly be on behavior-based therapies and not on medications. Something really needs to be done!

    Kelsey Wolfe

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