Monday, April 13, 2009

USA Today Calls for Public Education re ADHD

USA Today editorializes, "Look around a school lunchroom these days and odds are that one out of every 20 boys (and one in 43 girls) will have been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder," and "more than half of those boys will be on Ritalin (Methylphenidate), Concerta (methylphenidate) or Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine)." But, "the trouble is that the drugs' effectiveness might dissipate after 14 months of use, and they might be harmful, according to the latest results from the government's leading, multiyear study of 579 children." These findings "ought to lead parents, educators, doctors and mental-health professionals to take a much more cautious approach to the drugs." Teachers, in particular, "have been the most likely group -- more than parents or doctors -- to refer a child for an AD/HD diagnosis," and "drugs are the usual consequence." USA Today concludes, "Public education is now needed so that both teachers and parents are better equipped to weigh the drugs' short-term benefits against AD/HD treatments with better long-term results."

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