Passionate Instigator, Dynamic Problem Solver
February 5th, 2014 05:00:00 am
One of the most extensive studies concerning school performance and the use of ADHD was recently released, exposing the public to the truth about long-term effects of medicating children. The down and dirty is that, after following 4,000 children for eleven years, boys who did not take ADHD medication outperformed those who did. For girls, those that took ADHD medication had more overall mental and emotional issues than those who did not.
Let me pause for a collective gasp. Repeated studies in America—averaging nine months of monitoring subjects—consistently touted the benefits of drugs for ADHD. So, why is there a huge discrepancy between those studies, and the recently released Quebec Study? After sixteen years of working as an expert with ADD/HD individuals, I was not surprised with the outcome and differences. I wasn't even surprised to read that rates of ADD/HD are lower in other countries. In France, rates of diagnosed and medicated children are only 0.5%, as opposed to the United States' 11% in 2014.
Again, why were there such big gaps between these two studies? One reason is the majority of studies in the United States are underwritten and funded by drug companies. Findings in these studies tell us exactly what the drug companies want us to hear, and bury what they don't want us to know. In 2010, when the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia was drafting guidelines on ADHD, they stated that their research was “tainted” by “conflict of interest.” In other words, a Harvard-based professor who contributed had alleged ties to the pharmaceutical industry, and received an undisclosed $1.6 million from drug companies.
In countries with high rates of education (higher than or equal to the United States), students are less likely to be medicated. It seems our underfunded school system would rather push for a diagnosis and drug-based solution than confront the problems at hand. Canada, for instance, ranks higher in education than the United States, and ADD/HD only affects 5% of school children. In Finland, one of the world's highest ranking countries in regards to education, only medicates one out of 1,000. In Germany, parents are encouraged to work with their children on solutions before they can obtain prescription drugs.
Over one in ten U.S. schoolchildren have been diagnosed with ADD/HD, and two thirds of them are medicated. Which study would you refer to when your child's school calls and tells you to medicate your child?
5% rate in Canada http://adhdawarenessweek.ca/en/?page_id=65