Friday, 27 July 2012

"Are we medicating a disorder or treating boyhood as a disease?"

It's alarming how much the prescription rate of ADD/ADHD drugs has increased in the past 16 years. The number of children aged 4 to 17 years being prescribed ADHD medications in the USA has been steadily rising since 1996, researchers from the NIH (National Institutes of Health) and AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) have reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

ADHD is one of the most common disorders among children (mostly males under 17), but bells ring in my head saying that we might need to take a look at the description again. These are some of the facts that cause controversies: 

  • There are NO biological tests that can be done to diagnose ADHD
  • Distinction between ADHD symptoms and standard childhood traits can be quite subtle - such as forgetfulness, and fidgeting.
  • IMS statistics show spending on ADHD drugs surged 104% - from $122-million in 2005, to $249-million in 2009.

For many, being hyper or easily distracted is just a part of growing up. For those who retain this into adulthood or do not find ways of coping, the drugs may be a good choice. It is easily being shown that in today's culture, parents would rather have the quick-fix drug rather than going through a few months of therapy, who knows what they are doing to their child. 

It's up to you to decide whether or not we a) have a defect in the mind of our generation. or b) we are over medicating, feeding a multi-billion dollar industry and reaching for the pill instead of help.

Websites Cited: 

Medical News Today
The Globe and Mail

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