Prescribing Medication for Poverty and Poorly Performing Schools, not ADHD?

This disturbing article in today’s NY Times, describes a trend (?) by some doctors who are reportedly prescribing ADHD medications for kids who clearly do not suffer from AD/HD.

Sometimes doctors are apparently prescribing meds knowing that the patient-child does not in fact have ADHD, and some of the times it is the parents who are deceiving the doctors in oder to make up for poorly performing schools in low income neighborhoods struggling with under-funded programs.

This is terrible on so many levels.

If true, the inevitable firestorm this will create for the whole notion of medications for true AD/HD, will undoubtedly be over-reaching and hyperbolic. The reaction and anger towards misuse of medication will fall unnecessarily on the field in general. When diagnosed properly, AD/HD medications in combination with other interventions and support can be an extremely important part of a treatment plan.

What this awful trend, if true, means about our over-reliance to pathologize behavioral differences in everyday kids and knee jerk decisions to take a pill for everything is troubling and a societal problem in and of itself.

The article is not entirely accurate in its description of AD/HD and so I wonder about the accuracy in other ways. However, at face value, this is depressing.

About Sanford

Learning Disabilities specialist and Educational Consultant
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