Taking ADHD medicines like Ritalin and Adderall in order to improve kids' performance in school doesn't work--it can even make kids violent (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show). But here's a more common problem: These drugs don't improve kids' grades, either.
Reporter Shirely S. Wang says, "A growing body of research finds that in the long run, achievement scores, grade-point averages or the likelihood of repeating a grade generally aren't any different in kids with ADHD who take medication compared with those who don't."
Millions of children and college students take medication to treat ADHD and to help them perform better in school. The drugs are supposed to improve attention, focus and self-control, so why wouldn't grades improve as well? A study of nearly 4,000 students in Quebec over an average of 11 years found that boys who took ADHD drugs actually performed WORSE e in school than those with similar symptoms who didn't take the drugs. Girls taking the medicine reported more emotional problems.
According to an FDA study, the number of prescriptions for ADHD drugs given to children increased 46% in the 8 years prior to 2012.