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A question about ADHD and amphetamines

So Attention deficit is being diagnosed all the more frequently. Kids seemingly are being started on amphetamines at an alarming rate. Some argue that this inability to concentrate is more an anxiety issue than a chemical disorder. Others argue that it is a chemical thing.

What we do know is that amphetamines (properly dosed) will improve concentration performance for all people ADD or otherwise. So those on the drugs are inherently given a chemical advantage. Nowadays academic performance is ranked by grades and test scores. So a child on the drug will have an advantage over someone who is not. The same may go for job performance.

Athletes are cheating by using performance enhancing drugs. Can the same be extrapolated on an intellectual level? Someone may be frustrated not being able to keep up with someone who has been prescribed amphetamines as an intellectual performance enhancing agent--which no doubt nowadays are overprescribed. As my children advance in school this concerns me. I do not want him or her on drugs--nor do I want them judged on an uneven playing field. Its a bit tricky and life isn't always fair but I am concerned that we are going to see more people turning to drugs to improve performance rather than improving schools and addressing other underlying issues.

I am sure there are some on Adderall or Ritalin (or have close experiences) on this board--I don't wish to offend--but this concern has bothered me lately, and I have not seen it addressed in the way I have thought about it before. Any thoughts?
 
MJB said:
So Attention deficit is being diagnosed all the more frequently. Kids seemingly are being started on amphetamines at an alarming rate. Some argue that this inability to concentrate is more an anxiety issue than a chemical disorder. Others argue that it is a chemical thing.

At first, when I heard about this, I though it was a joke. Now, I am not sure if you Americans are with the right minds! Giving a child drugs to make him pay [email protected]%[email protected] KIDS ARE SUPPOSED TO ACT THAT WAY! Just let them be.

Nenad
 
I think these drugs are over prescribed. Some teachers find it frustrating to have to deal with an unruly child when he/she has 20+ other children to teach. Pediatricians are pushed for time in dealing with children with behavior issues. These doctors have to see volume in order to make a living. I make a living helping these physicians streamline their business and make them profitable.

I guess we have a bigger problem than we think. When my son was in elementary school, I got a call from his teacher informing me that he probably had ADHD. I asked her what her qualifications were to diagnose such a condition. She retorted that she had other children that were medicated and performed well. I did take my son to his pediatrician. She told me that my son was really ok but if I insisted she could prescribe medication. I declined the medication and just spent more time with my son. He is now in the Army doing well.
 
Ohhhhh, you are opening a big can of worms here.:eek:

As a teacher, I have some pretty strong feelings on this question. There's no question that many, many kids are over-prescribed meds for ADHD; at the same time, many, many kids are just not able to focus in classes and are disrupting learning for those who can.

I have 2 little boys, and can see that they have trouble focusing--almost all the time! And yet, it seems as though they are just being normal boys, and I really don't want to drug them so they are easier to handle.

Ask me again when they are older!:001_tt2:
 
Honestly, I am against drugs being used in ay way other than physical healing.

To me using drugs to bandage a condition instead of fixing it is non-constructive. If I was a few years younger, I probably would have been wrapped up into the ADD group. I may have another issue as well, but I'm good enough at dealing with it that I refuse to even get tested for it.

It just bothers me to see a world of people that attached to the medicine cabinet....that's just not natural.

I don't feel using these drugs is cheating others, as much as it is cheating themselves. What they are doing is creating a record of their performance based on the use of those specific drugs, and not their own natural ability. I would be worried about it coming back to haunt me later in life if I was to ever do something like that.

Either way, when I have a kid, I'll make sure that drugs are not used to skew academic results. I have no issue with coffee nights when the SATs come up, but there has to be ethics in everything a person does, and building up the academic foundation of one's life on deception is not the right way to do it.
 
I asked her what her qualifications were to diagnose such a condition. She retorted that she had other children that were medicated and performed well.

:lol:

Is this funny, or just terrifying? I cannot decide :scared:

There is a really good article on Slate/Salon/Reddit on this issue. I'll try and find the link for you. In essence, the majority of schoolwork simply dulls the mind, and testing, homework, make it worse. In certain states the teacher is held responsible for test performance, and so she may not be a disinterested party here (source Freakanomics).
 
As someone who has a mild case of Adult Add and anxiety. It's hard for me to say the meds are all out bad. From time to time the condition becomes too hard to handle and meds are a method to allow for some type of normalcy. I will agree that I'm alarmed by the amount of children that are doped up. It seems a shame that there is only two choices for today's schools: constant meds and remedial classes. I think the larger issue to look at might be the broken down, out dated and over burdened education system. The goal is to educate our youth as people so that they can lead productive lives in society. Not to be shuffled through a system that considers them to be numbers and standardized statistics. We are letting our youth down.

Whoa, I got a little off track there. damn ADD!!!
 
This is a touchy subject - the type that I've told time and again that I should stay out of. I'll try to keep it short and simple. I think that the main problem is that the "responsible adults" (docs, teachers, caregivers, parents - especially parents) in many (but certainly not all) of these situations are not taking the time or putting forth the effort required to be "responsible". To medicate a child (whether or not it is "necessary") is certainly much easier than corecting their poor diet, sleeping schedule, exercise regime and properly disciplining the child - and we live in a time when easy is what sells.

I'm not suggesting that there are no cases where the meds are a good idea - but I doubt that we often see these cases.
 
"KIDS ARE SUPPOSED TO ACT THAT WAY! Just let them be."
Nenad



You know it , Brother !!
How little time we have to enjoy childhood...
Parents need to parent more, and quit looking for easy solutions LESS!
Believe me.
 
I have a boy who was diagnosed with ADHD. I don't believe the diagnosis was appropriate. We don't have him on drugs of any sort. He's very sharp and very active. We simply use consistent discipline with him, and he's doing great in school. Yes, he is harder to handle than a lethargic child, but I would rather see him active, curious, and enthusiastic.

I did hear an interesting report on this which kind of layed part of the blame for this on the feminization of the classroom. The new teaching style has children working in groups and helping each other out. This is a typical relational style for girls. For boys, there are just too many distractions and not enough structure. Also, boys like to ask questions and want to know "why"? Teachers often percieve this as lack of focus and/or challenging the authority of the teacher.

I wouldn't want to overstate the case, but maybe there is something there. How many girls are diagnosed ADHD compared to boys? I don't know of any girls...but could probably list off a handful of boys in my son's class.
 
kozulich said:
I have a boy who was diagnosed with ADHD. I don't believe the diagnosis was appropriate. We don't have him on drugs of any sort. He's very sharp and very active. We simply use consistent discipline with him, and he's doing great in school. Yes, he is harder to handle than a lethargic child, but I would rather see him active, curious, and enthusiastic.

Same here with my son. I did notice with my son that he needed structure to learn and do well. Open concept classrooms did not work with my son.
 
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