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To Medicate or Not to Medicate: The Ongoing ADHD Debate

Filed Under: Baby and Child Health at 9:22 am | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
ChildrenWith two million cases in the United States, you won’t have difficulty finding information on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). You may, however, have difficulty sorting through that information. Articles are riddled with contradictory opinions, negative conclusions, positive findings and all sorts of confusion, particularly when discussing treatment. The medications most commonly prescribed, namely Ritalin, alternately receive praise and criticism. They are said to improve focus, reduce hyperactivity and increase school performance,  as well as lead to addiction , stunt growth and create overly drugged zombies. When you have a child with ADHD, how do you make a treatment decision without being overrun by doubts? Where do you turn?

Naturally, you would look to your child’s general practitioner, but he too may be overwhelmed by facts. He may not have all the answers, or you may find yourself more confused after speaking with him. If that’s the case, you now have help. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry with the American Psychiatric Association has released a guide to ADHD treatment.  It reviews the current medications, answering addiction and side effect questions, and discusses alternate treatment methods, such as behavioral therapy.  The guide is in no way a replacement for actual consultation, but it can shed some light on your medication concerns, possibly allowing you to decide what’s best for your child. 

If you decide that Ritalin, or a similar stimulant, isn’t how you want to treat the condition, there may be ways you can aid the no-medication method. The most recently discovered is tree bark. After studying 57 nine-year-olds with ADHD, researchers found that taking Pycnogenol, an antioxidant plant extract from pine tree bark, reduces adrenaline by 26 percent and dopamine by 10. As a result, the children are more able to focus and less hyperactive.  It’s also been found, as we discussed before, that certain food additives may increase a child’s overly stimulated energy. Cutting them out, then, would have the opposite effect. You do have options when treating ADHD, and they aren’t all in tablet form. Please, however, be sure to check with a medical professional before making any decisions. A world inundated with information is a confusing one; he can help you sort through it.

To access the guide online go to

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One Response to “To Medicate or Not to Medicate: The Ongoing ADHD Debate”

  1. ADHD says:


    While the web continues to gather tutors for adhd students websites, we’ll try to show them to you.

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