Are ADHD drugs useless? According to a recent study, they are. Each year, hundreds of young children are placed on medications to combat symptoms associated with ADHD. However, researchers are arguing that the medications such as Ritalin and Adderall actually aren’t as effective as doctors assume.
As a matter of fact, Natural News reported that a study conducted by the Journal of Health Economics revealed ADHD drugs actually decrease the possibility of proficient academic performance among adolescents.
“We find little evidence of improvement in either the medium or the long run” from the use of ADHD drugs in children, wrote the authors. “Our results… suggest that expanding medication in a community setting had little positive benefit and may have had harmful effects given the average way these drugs are used in the community.”
In addition to ineffectiveness, the study also insists such drugs are potentially harmful and dangerous over time. Long-time use reportedly causes more harm to mental health than good. The report references the findings of Psychologist L. Alan Sroufe, which dates back to 2012. In the The New York Times column, Sroufe reportedly warned of the potential dangers of long-term use and urged doctors to avoid prescribing the medications for extended periods of time. Sroufe even pushed his argument a step further questioning whether or not ADHD even exists. He also noted that there are no findings of long-term benefits for children who have been prescribed with ADHD drugs.
“Sadly, few physicians and parents seem to be aware of what we have been learning about the lack of effectiveness of these drugs,” wrote Sroufe. “[W]hen given to children over long periods of time, [ADHD drugs] neither improve school achievement nor reduce behavior problems. The drugs can also have serious side effects, including stunting growth.”
“To date, no study has found any long-term benefit of attention-deficit medication on academic performance, peer relationships or behavior problems, the very things we would most want to improve,” added Sroufe. “Putting children on drugs does nothing to change the conditions that derail their development in the first place.”
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