For individuals and families familiar with ADD/ADHD and its impact on behavior regarding family life, school performance and socialization at all levels, I am sure you have already had to make some difficult decisions regarding medication. Great strides have been made in understanding and managing this common child-hood disorder. Research shows ADD/ADHD can be due to genetics, heavy metal toxicities like lead and mercury, nutritional deficiencies including magnesium, zinc and essential fatty acids as well as food allergies.
The therapeutic options or choices for helping your child are multi-faceted requiring experienced direction of your health care practitioner, assistance from teachers and schools, cooperation from the child as well as your parental involvement. Furthermore, there are natural non-drug alternatives that are safe and effective for ADHD. These natural ingredients work together to improve brain neurotransmittance, concentration, attention and control of hyperactivity.
Prescription Drugs Contributing To Teen Drug Abuse. A recent study from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University found that teen prescription drug abuse has tripled. According to Joseph Califano, chairman and founder of the Center, “The substances most likely to be abused were opioids, or pain relievers like OxyContin or Vicodin; central nervous system depressants such as Valium or Xanax; stimulants including Ritalin or Adderall and anabolic-androgenic steroids like Anadrol or Equipoise.” The study showed that in 2003, 2.3 million 12 to 17-year-olds (nearly one in 10) abused at least one prescription drug and that girls were more likely to abuse than boys.
This information coupled with the fact that the FDA has recently stated that they plan to change the warning labels on methylphenidate drug products such as the ADHD medication Concerta (also known as Ritalin) is enough to cause alarming concern. Their statement made on June 30th of this year reads, “The FDA has identified two possible safety concerns with the methylphenidate drug products: psychiatric adverse events and cardiovascular adverse events.” The FDA plans to do further research before changing the warning labels and in addition, research similar medications like Adderall.
It is a tough call to make. The “naysayers” have been screaming for years about the negative side effects of ADD/ADHD medications. Yet, with the pressures from teachers, school functions, homework, etc. something has to be done. The doctors suggest Ritalin, Concerta or Adderall. Your child may already be on one of these prescription medications with some success and you don’t want to disrupt their progress. There is definitely a lot to consider when medicating your child with an ADD/ADHD medication.