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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Giving Poor Kids ADHD Drugs Without Diagnosis



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I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Some doctors and psychiatrists are giving children drugs for ADD who have not been diagnosed with the condition. From the NYT story:

When Dr. Michael Anderson hears about his low-income patients struggling in elementary school, he usually gives them a taste of some powerful medicine: Adderall. The pills boost focus and impulse control in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Although A.D.H.D is the diagnosis Dr. Anderson makes, he calls the disorder “made up” and “an excuse” to prescribe the pills to treat what he considers the children’s true ill — poor academic performance in inadequate schools.

This is wrong on so many levels. For one, these drugs have strong side effects:

The Drug Enforcement Administration classifies these medications as Schedule II Controlled Substances because they are particularly addictive. Long-term effects of extended use are not well understood, said many medical experts. Some of them worry that children can become dependent on the medication well into adulthood, long after any A.D.H.D. symptoms can dissipate.

This movement to drug poor kids without medical cause needs to be stomped out. Giving prescription drugs for an undiagnosed condition is unethical. And can someone tell me why isn’t this fraud, since these potentially unnecessary drugs are probably paid for by Medicaid?

The article presents a lot of support for drugging kids who have not been diagnosed. But I see it is unethical human experimentation on the poor. This is what we are becoming.



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