Sounding the Alarm on ADHD Drugs and Diagnoses
Doctors are now warning the public that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is being diagnosed far too often, which has resulted in some children taking powerful and risky drugs that are unnecessary. According to the British Medical Journal, researchers said that cases of ADHD have risen dramatically in the last few years. At the same time, doctors still are not clear on the root of the disorder and think that many children may be inaccurately labeled. ADHD is a broad disorder that is defined by periods of inattention, hyperactivity or impulsive behaviors. In other words, behaviors that tend to be typical of the youth. However, the diagnosis is only to be made when these behaviors go beyond what has been deemed “normal”. Regardless, the drugs that are used to treat ADHD are powerful and have significant, and sometimes unknown, side effects and risk.
This study was conducted at the Centre for Research in Evidence- Based Practice at Australia’s Bond University. The researchers did not argue that the condition of ADHD existed, but rather, concluded with a plan for doctors to conduct “watchful waiting” for 10 weeks before prescribing medications. Ritalin and other drugs used to treat ADHD are only supposed to be prescribed in severe cases, which is roughly 14% if the time, Agence France-Presse reported. However, “about 87 percent of children diagnosed with ADHD in the U.S. in 2010 subsequently received medication,” many of which received “unnecessary and possibly harmful medication treatment.”