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Saturday, March 28, 2009

ADHD Drugs Again! We Have to Take Notice...

The Washington Post recently published another article about the ongoing ADHD drug debate. Are the drugs useful at all? Are we doing the best for our children when we allow them to be given those drugs?

Debate Over Drugs For ADHD Reignites

New data from a large federal study have reignited a debate over the effectiveness of long-term drug treatment of children with hyperactivity or attention-deficit disorder, and have drawn accusations that some members of the research team have sought to play down evidence that medications do little good beyond 24 months.

The study also indicated that long-term use of the drugs can stunt children's growth.
The latest data paint a very different picture than the study's positive initial results, reported in 1999.

One principal scientist in the study, psychologist William Pelham, said that the most obvious interpretation of the data is that the medications are useful in the short term but ineffective over longer periods but added that his colleagues had repeatedly sought to explain away evidence that challenged the long-term usefulness of medication. When their explanations failed to hold up, they reached for new ones, Pelham said. Read the entire article here.

Photo: National Glacier Park, Argentina


  1. This is the best place I know of to find out what the real effects of these drugs are:


    See in particular this page:

    The Hazards of Treating "Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder" with Methylphenidate (Ritalin)

    See also this website:


  2. I thought I recognised the name Peter Jensen in the Washington Post article.

    This is from a 2004 issue of my newsletter, quoted from The New American, August 25, 2003 (no longer available online):

    "Advocates for the forced medication of schoolchildren diagnosed with ADHD and similar dubious maladies are unapologetic about the use of such totalitarian methods. "Its becoming increasingly clear that this is a powerful treatment that can be life-saving for some children," insists Peter Jensen, a board member of Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (CHADD), which advocates the use of Ritalin and similar drugs. "This is going to be happening more and more," he promises.

    Dr. Jensen, whose high-profile advocacy earned him the sobriquet "Mr. ADHD," does believe, however, that there are a few parents whose judgement can be trusted when they refuse to drug their children. Speaking at a gathering of psychologists in December 2001, Dr. Jensen emphasized that "medication is not the only effective nor ... the best treatment option for every child," reported the Monitor on Psychology. "When his own child was diagnosed with ADHD, Jensen told the audience, he and his wife opted not to use medication."

    How thankful Dr. Jensen must be that he qualifies as one of the "few".

    Also, I didn't see Dr. Jensen's role in CHADD mentioned either in the WP article or the "Understand more about Peter Jensen" at the bottom of the webpage. CHADD, according to my sources, is a front for the pharmaceutical industry.

    This is from A Critique of the International Consensus Statement on ADHD by Sami Timimi, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Sleaford, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom, and 33 Coendorsers, Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, Vol. 7, No. 1, March 2004:

    "Drug company strategy for expanding markets for drug treatment of children is not confined to direct drug promotion but includes illness promotion (e.g. funding for parent support groups such as CHADD) and influencing research activities (Breggin, 2001; Jureidini & Mansfield, 2001)."

    Given that, Dr. Jensen's response to the new findings is hardly surprising.

  3. These are all well known from loss of appetite to stunted growth and sleep challenges. But there is another worrying aspect which is that the pills will never teach skills.