Statistics from the United Nations show that America produces 85% of the worlds methylphenidate (Ritalin). In fact, it is a 13 billion dollar industry- marketing ADHD drugs to children in America.
They were first prescribed by an english pediatrician; sir george frederick still In 1902. They became widely used after world war II because pilots would take the drugs to stay awake. However, after the war, they realized that these drugs may have potential for something greater.
The DSM keeps changing the qualifications for fitting the profile for an ADHD child. The premise for ADHD changes in each version of the DSM.
Yes, there are people who benefit from ADHD medication, but the claims that from 40 years ago ADHD has increased 8-fold is a bold statement. Either people are being over diagnosed or these people are just now getting the help and recognition they need. 1980- 2007 is when the surge took place within America. ”In 2007, using data from the national survey of children’s health, vissser and colleagues, reported that 7.8% of youths age 4 to 7 had a diagnosis of ADHD and 4.3 reported being on current medication.”
The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act recognized ADHD as a disability. This would allow ADHD diagnosed students eligibility for school accommodations. This issue was influencing our government greatly. In fact, congress met and expanded the Medicaid coverage to include more children with disabilities. This put a huge surge in the ADHD medication handed out by doctors. Prescription for attention deficit disorder usage increased by 9.5% between 2000 and 20005. However, these medications were not the only drugs increasingly written on a prescription pad. Children were being prescribed anti-depressants as well as anti-psychotics at heightened level.
Now here is the problem with the diagnosis (as many clinicians see it): ADHD could be observed as a symptom of something else. Perhaps the child is immature for their age, or undisciplined. If a child displays anxiety over an issues, this can be easily misinterpreted as ADHD.
But wait! ADHD is increasing in number because these children are finally getting the recognition they need. Is this true?
40% of kindergartners, the youngest, (born in august) had a 40% chance of being diagnosed with ADHD and twice as likely to take ADHD medications than the other kindergartners, born in September. What is the point? The maturity level may play a factor. The study suggests that this error could account for 20% of all ADHD cases or 900,000 children being misdiagnosed.
To ensure a child is properly diagnosed, the teacher, parents, child and doctor all need to collaborate.
Misdiagnosis can occur easily. If a family physician makes a quick judgment call, they might do so, without having all the facts, leading to an incorrect diagnosis. “To be diagnosed with the disorder they must be clearly outside the range of other children their age (not their year in school) in inattentiveness, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.”
The biggest reason that these medications are being prescribed are the pharmaceutical companies. In fact, shire industry, makers of Adderall, settled for $50 million because their claim that children would improve in school was not necessarily true. False advertisement.
If a child is going to take a medication for ADHD, it might be wise to ensure the entire family is involved, as well as the teacher. If you are a parent, you should be scared, but used responsibly and handled with care, it can be beneficial. Many parents need to realize that their child’s behavior is normal and to solve the problem they should do what they did 40 years ago- recognize it as part of growing up.