Acting on reports of sudden death in children and adults taking ADHD drugs, the FDA and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality have initiated the largest study in history to analyze the effects of the medications on cardiac health. Known side effects of the drugs include elevated blood pressure and increased heart rate, which can be precursors to heart attacks and strokes. Children’s advocacy groups have long been pressuring the medical community to address not only the cardiac dangers, but also the disturbing growth in the number of patients experiencing depression and suicidal and violent tendencies.
These alarming developments serve to remind us that it is essential that we act as the guardians of our own health, maintaining an awareness of the risks and taking a cautious approach to treatment, exploring all available options.
Researchers investigate heart risks to adults and children
Diagnosis of ADHD in children and adults has grown exponentially in recent decades. According to the Centers for Disease Control, ADHD afflicts more than 4 million American children, roughly 4% of the population between the ages of 4 and 17. A study conducted by the National Institutes of Mental Health estimates that 4.4% of adults between the ages of 18 and 44 are affected. Prescriptions for adults jumped 90% from 2002. Prescriptions filled monthly have increased to about one (1) million as of 2005. Some studies estimate that eventually 20 percent of the population will be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder.
We can all sympathize with those in despair suffering with severe symptoms and an inability to calmly and effortlessly handle the every-day tasks that we all face. Often families of ADHD children are told by well-meaning friends that these children are “just being kids.” This is not the case, and these comments do a grave disservice to the families afflicted by this heartbreaking, medically-recognized disease of the brain and central nervous system.
Research has shown that Attention Deficit Disorder is a dysfunction of the Reticular Activating System, the center of consciousness that integrates learning and memory and supplies the right amount of neural connectors needed for information processing and attention. Attention Deficit sufferers lack the neural “hardware” needed to create new connectors. As demands for new learning, memory, and the management of information processing cannot be satisfied, gridlock occurs, halting information processing completely. Frustration, bewilderment, and behavioral problems are predictable results.
It is further known that children affected by ADHD tend to carry this disease into adulthood. In addition to the dangers currently under study, it should be noted that prescription drugs can hinder juvenile brain growth, preventing the childhood brain from creating the neural connections that are absolutely necessary for healthy brain development into adulthood.
The traditional pharmaceutical approach has yielded some relief from symptoms, albeit treating the symptoms rather than the underlying illness. Fortunately, homeopathic medicinals are available that treat the root causes of disease. Homeopathic remedies can be a safe replacement, eliminating the need for pharmaceutical drugs. For those who decide to forego concerns and continue the pharmaceutical treatment, homeopathics can be employed alongside pharmaceuticals as an effective complement. As ADHD drugs can be addictive, homeopathic treatment can be of immense help in bridging the transition away from drug dependence.