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May 4, 2016

CDC Concerned about too many Meds for ADHD Kids

based on reporting by the Washington Post

Angry childU.S health officials are now urging parents of preschoolers with ADHD to try behavior therapy first before trying drugs and they are calling on insurers to cover the treatments.

Today about 2 million of the 6+million children with ADHD were diagnosed between the ages of 2-5 years and since the “standard of care” for ADHD in the US is medication, will be put on stimulant medication if the parents o not actively go against their doctor’s recommendations.

We know that stimulants, which are the recommended medical treatment, are highly addictive and when our brains are given daily stimulants over a prolonged period of time, our brains get used to it and dependence ensues.  We also know that stimulants work in all populations for increased concentration and kids will do better on tests and IQ scores if on stimulants.  As a result, stimulants are traded on school and college campuses for that additional edge.

Behavioral and family therapy treatments do work, but they will take more effort, commitment and resources than swallowing a pill; they also have been shown to  longer lasting effects. Most medication treatments only work during drug treatment; any positive effect is lost post treatment.  Therapeutic interventions about self-care, individualized learning styles, self-care, emotional self-regulation and diet, take longer but can last for a life time.  A child and its family may need to attend an initial treatment program for 6-12 weeks depending on the severity of the problems and then require follow-up  at critical life junctures and during adolescence when the effects of increased hormones will also affect behavior.

Remember Gains Made with Therapy are Maintained,

Gains Made with Drugs are Not Maintained.

What is maintained with drug treatment are frequently side effects such as re-bound and dependence when trying to get of the drug.

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