ADHD Medications by 630m15kN


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           ADHD Medications
             The controversy over there use
                           Mindy Thomsen
                     Minnesota School of Business

                    Health Care Law and Ethics
                       February 25th, 2010
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The use of ADHD Medications to treat children with ADHD or other disorders is
considered a controversial subject. There have been several studies throughout the
world that have shown the benefits of the use of the Medications such as Adderal and
Ritalin in treating children with ADHD. However, other studies have shown the benefits
of different treatments that do not include medications. While the cause of ADHD is un-
known it is clear that the affects of this disease will affect everyone. I will share some of
the findings of both studies as well as give my opinion in the matter.
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                   ADHD Medications the controversy over there use

                                   General Information

       There are three types of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) they are;

Predominately Inattentive Type, Predominately Hyperactive- Impulsive Type, and

Combined Type. General signs of ADHD in children can include the following; the child

is restless, overactive, fidgety, constantly chattering, continuously interrupting people,

and cannot concentrate for long periods of time. The cause of ADHD is unknown

although there have been studies that have shown that children who have relatives with

ADHD are more likely to suffer from it. And studies have shown that sugar consumption

is not responsible either (Paddock, 2009). The diagnosis for ADHD cannot be

determined through a blood test, but must however be decided by a thorough

examination by a physician which may include running tests to look for underlying

illnesses that may be leading to cause of the symptoms. Once other illnesses are ruled

out the physician and the parents need to sit down and come up with a complete

treatment plan. This may or may not include the use of medications.


       For many parents whose children who have ADHD, the use of medications to

treat this disorder can be a hard decision to make. But, dealing with a child who cannot

seem to control themselves can be just as difficult. Not only do the behaviors of these

children affect themselves but, they affect everyone around them as well. Most Health

experts say that ADHD is the most common behavior that starts in childhood, and is

classified as a neurobehavioral developmental disorder (Paddock, 2009).
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       ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) does not only affect children,

although that is when it is almost always diagnosed. Persons with this disorder may find

it more difficult to control what he or she is doing or saying, or find it difficult to focus on

things without becoming distracted (Paddock, 2009). Adults tend to be able to handle

the disease better as they have developed self coping mechanisms.

                                    Available Treatments

       Some of the more common medications to help control the affects of ADHD are;

Amphetamines: Adderal (which has two strengths one for short periods and one for

longer periods), Dexedrine (lower dose taken several times a day); Methylphenidate:

Ritalin, Ritalin LA ( last’s up to 12 hours), Methylin, Focalin, Focalin XR ( last’s up to 12

hours), Metadate CD, Others: Atomoxetine HCI (Strattera), Bupropion (Wellbutrin XL),

Benzphetamine, Clonidine, and Provigil. (Paddock, 2009)

       Educational Interventions include things that should be done in the school and at

home to help a child with ADHD learn to cope and manage their disease with or without

medication, although these treatments are sometimes more effective without

medication. Here are some things to be done at school; a classroom environment

should include rules and expectations that are clearly stated. The day should be

structured with organized routines and the child should never be isolated. Activities

should be stimulating, interesting and meaningful, and should also alternate with hands

on activities. At home; routines are important and must be followed. If changes must be

made the child should be made aware of and begin preparing in advance if possible for
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the change. The child should have a quiet, organized and area free from distractions to

study. (Madrona-Mehl & Gretz, 2000)

       Nutritional and Dietary treatments for ADHD include: a diet low in sugar and

refined carbohydrates and high in quality protein, elimination of additives/allergens,

treatments of nutritional deficiencies with nutritional supplements, and the detection of

toxins and reducing them. (Madrona-Mehl & Gretz, 2000) Some of the best ways to help

treat a person with ADHD is to follow the diet plan below;

                                         The Feingold Diet

           I.    Avoid all foods that contain artificial colors and flavors.
           II.   Avoid all foods containing natural salicylates:

                 Apples (& cider )
                 Grapes (& raisins)
                 Mint flavors
                 All tea
                 Oil of Wintergreen
                 Cucumbers (& pickles)
                 Wine (& wine vinegars)

          III.   Miscellaneous items to avoid:

                 Aspirin-containing compounds
                 All medications with artificial colors or flavors
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               Toothpaste and toothpowders with restricted color or flavor (subst. salt/soda)
               All perfume

Several investigators have also demonstrated an effect of food additives on behavior in
some children. (Feingold, 1976)

                                      Research Results

      Psychologists William Pelham and Dr. Brian Wymbs are one of the most well

known researchers of studies about ADHD. They published a study that showed that

couples of children with ADHD were two times more likely to get a divorce or become

estranged, due to the stress of raising a child with ADHD. The results show that parents

of children with ADHD divorced by the age of eight at a rate of 22.7% vs. only 12.6% of

parents who did not have ADHD children (Pelham & Wymbs, Oct. 2008).

      Another study has proved there may be a link between the use of stimulant drugs

to treat ADHD and sudden cardiac arrest. The study was conducted between 1985 to

1996 and compared the use of stimulant drugs in 564 healthy children aged 7 to 19

from across the US who died suddenly. Although the link was established the US Food

and Drug Administration (FDA) which funded the study with the National Institute of

Mental Health has recommended that due to the limited study that parents and care
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givers do not quit giving the medication but should discuss the possible risks with the

prescribing doctor. (Gould, et al., 2009)

       The final article that I found states that multiple scientific studies have found that

only about 50% of people with ADHD are ever diagnosed or treated. Therefore it could

technically be argued they are under prescribed. However there are some instances

where the medications can be miss prescribed, such as if a child is truly just struggling

with depression, anxiety or a learning disability. And also certain physicians who are not

trained how to properly deal with a diagnosis of ADHD may not try alternate options but

just simply prescribe a medication. (Sogn, 2006)


       As a parent myself I could not give my child a medication without first trying the

alternative treatment options first. I think we as a nation are overmedicating ourselves

and our families. I think that in some cases that medication is necessary to give the

person a better life, one they can function in better. However I think that certain people

assume that medication is the only way to make things better. If we stop and think about

it I am sure ADHD was around long before the medications came about and people

were able to cope with it then. I think we as a nation need to stop trying to use

medication to fix everything and try using non chemical means to treat illnesses as well.

I think physicians need to be educated in all of the courses of available treatments not

just the medications available. I think parents need to become informed as well, instead

of just saying give me your quick fix.
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Works Cited
Feingold, B. (1976, September 9). Hyperkinesis and learning disabilities linked to the ingestion of
artificial food colors and flavors. J Learn Disabil , pp. 551-559.

Gould, M. S., Walsh, T. B., Munfakh, J. L., Kleinman, M., Duan, N., Olfson, M., et al. (2009, February
2009). Sudden Death and Use of Stimulant Medications in Youths. Retrieved February 25, 2010, from Am
J Psychiatry:

Madrona-Mehl, L. M., & Gretz, S. (2000). Educational Interventions. Retrieved February 25, 2010, from
Healing Arts:

Madrona-Mehl, L. M., & Gretz, S. (2000). Nutritional Interventions. Retrieved February 25, 2010, from
Healing Arts:

Paddock, C. P. (2009, June 15). What is ADHD (Attention Hyperactivity Disorder). Retrieved February 24,
2010, from

Pelham, W., & Wymbs, B. (Oct. 2008). Marriage with ADHD Children. Journal of COnsulting and Clinical
Psychology , Vol 76(5) 735-744.

Sogn, R. M. (2006, February). Are Stimulants Overprescribed . Retrieved February 24, 2010, from

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