We live in an age where more and more kids seem to have ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), which makes them restless and inattentive in class. Nearly one in five high school age boys in the United States and 11% of school-age children over all have received a medical diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to new data from the CDC.
Instead of just wringing their hands and letting these kids fail, some physicians are giving them a dose of some powerful medicine: Adderall. This drug increases the amount of dopamine in the brain, and can be addictive. It's commercially available and legal ONLY in the US.
In the October 9th edition of the New York Times, Alan Schwarz writes about Atlanta physician Michael Anderson, who, although he calls ADHD a "made up" disease that gives doctors "an excuse" to prescribe pills which cover up what he considers to be the real problem: poor kids struggling in inadequate schools. But Schwarz quotes him as saying, "I don't have a whole lot of choice. We've decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment. So we have to modify the kid."
He says, "We might not know the long-term effects, but we do know the short-term costs of school failure, which are real. I am looking to the individual person and where they are right now. I am the doctor for the patient, not for society."
Schwarz quotes psychiatrist Nancy Rappaport as saying, "We are seeing this more and more. We are using a chemical straitjacket instead of doing things that are just as important to also do, sometimes more."
It's not just poor kids who are taking meds: wealthy students abuse stimulants to raise already-good grades in colleges and high schools. Anderson says, “People who are getting A's and B's, I won't give it to them."
Schwarz quotes researcher Ramesh Raghavan as saying, "We as a society have been unwilling to invest in very effective nonpharmaceutical interventions for these children and their families. We are effectively forcing local community psychiatrists to use the only tool at their disposal, which is psychotropic medications."
Are we creating a society of drug addicts? (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show and Graham Hancock is one of the dynamic speakers at our wonderful Nashville Symposium). Or is this just another part of a very silly war?