Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Are ADHD Medications Really Effective?

Spending on ADHD drugs soared from $759 million in 2000 to $3.1 billion in 2004 yet there are no studies that prove the long-term effectiveness of amphetamine drugs in helping people adapt or adjust to life with ADHD. With this widespread use of amphetamines and the risks associated with these drugs, shouldn't there be strong evidence proving that these drugs truly work in the long run?

ADHD medications do reduce the major symptoms of ADHD such as distractibility, impulsiveness and restlessness. People using stimulant medications need to question whether the symptoms are severe enough to justify the potential serious side effects.

Statistics show that ADHD drugs send 3,100 people to the emergency room every year. Of those, 80 percent are children. Additionally, the FDA linked 25 deaths to ADHD drugs between 1999 and 2003 - 19 of which were children. There have also been 54 cases of serious heart problems reported including strokes and heart attacks.

Major side effects may be rare, percentage-wise, but the use of ADHD drugs certainly is not. Many believe that different alternatives should be looked into as possible interventions. ADHD drugs may offer a quick fix, but do the benefits of that outweigh the possible dangers and misuse that can and do occur?

Parents need to be informed about the risks versus the benefits that these stimulants carry for their children and ask themselves; "Are these medications justifiable or even desirable?"

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