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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Dangers Of Overprescribed ADHD Medications

Here is a good article that I found, I am publishing it because Foster Children are medicated more often than not.

The Dangers Of Overprescribed ADHD Medications

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has become the fastest growing diagnosed disorder among children under the age of 18. Many children in countries such as the US, New Zealand and Australia are being prescribed medications at an alarming rate. As the FDA requires ADHD drugs to carry warning labels, the overmedication of children with ADHD is becoming a real concern.

Most ADHD drugs are stimulant that contain amphetamine. Various side effects have been reported from taking these drugs. Some of them tend to suppress feelings of any kind, making children unhappy. Some are addictive and prone to substance abuse. In some cases, depression can lead to suicidal thoughts or actions.

Ritalin is a common prescription medication for ADHD in children to help them concentrate better. The side effects of Ritalin include headaches, stomach ache, insomnia, dizziness, nervousness, weight loss and even cardiac arrhythmia. The effects of long-term use are not fully known however it has been linked to abnormal brain development and stunted growth in small children.

Adderall is another ADHD drug that combines various amphetamines. The common side effects of taking Adderall include dizziness, restlessness, insomnia, headache, dry mouth and weight loss.

The potential for addiction and abuse is the biggest cause for alarm in ADHD medications. Children, particularly teens, who take these medications without the supervision of their parents and doctors are more likely to misuse and become addicted to the drugs.

There are other types of treatment for ADHD, especially for less severe cases. One alternative treatment is to make dietary changes. There are specific allergy causing foods that can trigger or add to hyperactivity such as wheat, dairy products, sugar, soy and eggs. Avoid refined carbohydrates and processed foods. The latter tend to contain preservatives, coloring and artificial flavoring which can cause further behavioral problems. A dietician can help determine a proper diet plan for children with ADHD.

Herbal remedies are also available to treat ADHD and are effective for mild to moderate cases. These remedies do not come with the side effects and possible addiction that conventional prescription medications do. Behavior therapy is beneficial as it teaches children to cope in various situations. Children that understand how to react when they are frustrated, angry or misunderstood can learn to better control their behavior.

While there is no one treatment that works for every child, the right combination of treatment options can keep the symptoms of ADHD under control. Parents should be less accepting of conventional prescription treatments and should discuss ADHD alternative treatment options with their doctor. ADHD children who are prescribed medications must be monitored to prevent addiction and substance abuse.
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Medications are the most common treatment for ADHD symptoms in children and adult. The long term effects of ADHD medications are still unknown but medical researchers warned of permanent changes to brain chemistry and behavior. Learn more about alternative treatments for ADHD at www.guidetoadhd.com/prd-adhdmed

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