A study in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry last month reported that”extended use of medication [for ADHD] was associated with suppression of adult height but not with reduction of symptom severity.” So basically, it stunts growth and it isn’t effective. So why isn’t there a bigger hue and cry about this? There are 6.4 million children diagnosed with ADHD in the U.S. alone, and most of them are taking these drugs. The study that came to this conclusion was part of the largest study of the effectiveness of treatments for ADHD ever conducted: the federally-funded Multimodal Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Study. I’ll tell you one reason why there isn’t a bigger hue and cry: drug companies make big bucks from these medications,and physicians don’t need to look more closely at the real reasons why a child may be hyperactive, impulsive, and/or distractible; they just do a quick exam, make the diagnosis, and prescribe the pills. So easy. Better than confronting a culture that puts kids in the short-attention span world of media, expects kindergarteners to behave like second-graders, and cuts back on recess and exercise programs to make room for ”rigorous academic” courses.
If you want to know more about the real reasons for America’s ADHD epidemic AND learn about 101 practical ways to deal with a child’s hyperactivity, distractibility, and impulsivity without resorting to growth stunting, ineffective medications, then pre-order my book: The Myth of the ADHD Child: 101 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Behavior and Attention Span without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion (coming out in August, 2017, published by Tarcher/Perigee/PenguinRandomHouse). Twitter: @Dr_Armstrong.