But are these drugs really helping children? Should we really keep expanding the number of prescriptions filled? In 30 years there has been a twentyfold increase in the consumption of drugs for attention-deficit disorder.
Attention-deficit drugs increase concentration in the short term, which is why they work so well for college students cramming for exams. But when given to children over long periods of time, they neither improve school achievement nor reduce behavior problems. The drugs can also have serious side effects, including stunting growth.Sadly, few physicians and parents seem to be aware of what we have been learning about the lack of effectiveness of these drugs. What gets publicized are short-term results and studies on brain differences among children. Indeed, there are a number of incontrovertible facts that seem at first glance to support medication. It is because of this partial foundation in reality that the problem with the current approach to treating children has been so difficult to see.
Read the full article by L. Alan Sroufe on The New York Times