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BBC: "Drugs for ADHD 'not the answer'"

SarcasticDwarf

Diamond Member
Jun 8, 2001
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Story Link

Treating children who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with drugs is not effective in the long-term, research has shown.

A study obtained by the BBC's Panorama programme says drugs such as Ritalin and Concerta work no better than therapy after three years of treatment.
Since this topic comes up on occasion, I figured that I would mention it here.

It seems to me that the basis of this study is flawed. ADD/ADHD is something that most children either grow out of or learn to cope with as adults (or some combination). The medications exist largely to get the symptoms down to a more manageable level. Because of this any study you want to create will say that the medication is not effective for children in the long-term because it is not meant to be.
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
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Agree with you. That study seems to miss the point, at least based on what the BBC related about it.
 

Sinsear

Diamond Member
Jan 13, 2007
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How come no one was ever diagnosed with ADD when I was growing up?
 

kylebisme

Diamond Member
Mar 25, 2000
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If kids taking drugs don't turn out any better than the ones only getting therapy, why are we stunting their growth by pumping them full of amphetamines and such? Granted, a lot of people like their speed, and there is a big industry built around that market, but I can't see how pushing it on hyper kids can be considered any better than rubbing whisky on a crying baby's gums.
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
2
0
Originally posted by: Sinsear
How come no one was ever diagnosed with ADD when I was growing up?
As medicine understands the body more, it will be able to diagnose better. I don't think people 2000 years ago were being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, they just knew their joints hurt.
 

SarcasticDwarf

Diamond Member
Jun 8, 2001
9,574
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Originally posted by: TheSnowman
If kids taking drugs don't turn out any better than the ones only getting therapy, why are we stunting their growth by pumping them full of amphetamines and such? Granted, a lot of people like their speed, and there is a big industry built around that market, but I can't see how pushing it on hyper kids can be considered any better than rubbing whisky on a crying baby's gums.
I am not sure what you are getting here. It seems that you are asking "why take x medicine because it does not sure it!" There certainly is a big industry, it the condition is overdiagnosed, but that does not make it false.
 

SarcasticDwarf

Diamond Member
Jun 8, 2001
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Originally posted by: Skoorb
Originally posted by: Sinsear
How come no one was ever diagnosed with ADD when I was growing up?
As medicine understands the body more, it will be able to diagnose better. I don't think people 2000 years ago were being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, they just knew their joints hurt.
Agreed. Also, if you read the history of the condition (I believe Wikipedia has an article), you will find that there are reference to these symptoms going back hundreds of years. ADD/ADHD was first diagnosed somewhere around 1950. As with most diagnosis it took considerable time before the public and the average doctor learned about it and accepted it as a possible diagnosis.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
48,680
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Originally posted by: Sinsear
How come no one was ever diagnosed with ADD when I was growing up?
Unless you're older than 60, they were. Ritalin has been around since the early 1950s. They just used to call it by different names, like "hyperactive," "rambunctious," etc.
 

Sinsear

Diamond Member
Jan 13, 2007
6,434
79
91
Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: Sinsear
How come no one was ever diagnosed with ADD when I was growing up?
Unless you're older than 60, they were. Ritalin has been around since the early 1950s. They just used to call it by different names, like "hyperactive," "rambunctious," etc.
Oh; I figured it just didn't exist because we were thrown out of the house to go play everyday instead of placed in front of the TV and Playstations for hours on end.
 

SarcasticDwarf

Diamond Member
Jun 8, 2001
9,574
0
76
Originally posted by: Sinsear
Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: Sinsear
How come no one was ever diagnosed with ADD when I was growing up?
Unless you're older than 60, they were. Ritalin has been around since the early 1950s. They just used to call it by different names, like "hyperactive," "rambunctious," etc.
Oh; I figured it just didn't exist because we were thrown out of the house to go play everyday instead of placed in front of the TV and Playstations for hours on end.
Uh, no. The nature of modern technology certainly plays a role in the prevalence of the condition, but that is certainly not all of it. Kids that truly have ADD/ADHD tend to show symptoms of it by about age six. At that point you can only look at how they act, but you can generally get a good idea. By the time a child is 10-12, they should be able to articulate what is going through their minds which makes diagnosis far easier. The reason that it is often improperly diagnosed is that it is something that only manifests itself in behaviors. This means that unless doctors spend a lot of time interacting with people that have it or considerable time studying it, it is difficult for them to determine what is a "normal" behavior and what is caused by the condition. Again, this becomes easier as the child gains the ability to express what is going on.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
48,680
9,843
136
Originally posted by: Sinsear
Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: Sinsear
How come no one was ever diagnosed with ADD when I was growing up?
Unless you're older than 60, they were. Ritalin has been around since the early 1950s. They just used to call it by different names, like "hyperactive," "rambunctious," etc.
Oh; I figured it just didn't exist because we were thrown out of the house to go play everyday instead of placed in front of the TV and Playstations for hours on end.
I'm sure they still had that little thing known as "school" back in your childhood growing up with Jesus and the dinosaurs. :roll:
 

Sinsear

Diamond Member
Jan 13, 2007
6,434
79
91
Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: Sinsear
Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: Sinsear
How come no one was ever diagnosed with ADD when I was growing up?
Unless you're older than 60, they were. Ritalin has been around since the early 1950s. They just used to call it by different names, like "hyperactive," "rambunctious," etc.
Oh; I figured it just didn't exist because we were thrown out of the house to go play everyday instead of placed in front of the TV and Playstations for hours on end.
I'm sure they still had that little thing known as "school" back in your childhood growing up with Jesus and the dinosaurs. :roll:
You know exactly what I'm getting at. Yes, we had school, and I did not grow up all that long ago.
 

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
33,712
3,169
126
Originally posted by: Skoorb
Originally posted by: Sinsear
How come no one was ever diagnosed with ADD when I was growing up?
As medicine understands the body more, it will be able to diagnose better. I don't think people 2000 years ago were being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, they just knew their joints hurt.
Thats a cop out!!!
 

blackangst1

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
20,990
853
126
Originally posted by: Sinsear
How come no one was ever diagnosed with ADD when I was growing up?
How come I didnt get a frontal lobatomy for bipolar instead of a handful of drugs in order to function? Hell they were still doing em back then.
 

kylebisme

Diamond Member
Mar 25, 2000
9,396
0
0
Originally posted by: SarcasticDwarf
Originally posted by: TheSnowman
If kids taking drugs don't turn out any better than the ones only getting therapy, why are we stunting their growth by pumping them full of amphetamines and such? Granted, a lot of people like their speed, and there is a big industry built around that market, but I can't see how pushing it on hyper kids can be considered any better than rubbing whisky on a crying baby's gums.
I am not sure what you are getting here. It seems that you are asking "why take x medicine because it does not sure it!"
AADD maybe?

:p

Seriously though, I recommend rereading my previous post and the article as well. I'm saying we shouldn't be giving kids drugs that in the long run only do them harm.
 

SarcasticDwarf

Diamond Member
Jun 8, 2001
9,574
0
76
Originally posted by: TheSnowman
Originally posted by: SarcasticDwarf
Originally posted by: TheSnowman
If kids taking drugs don't turn out any better than the ones only getting therapy, why are we stunting their growth by pumping them full of amphetamines and such? Granted, a lot of people like their speed, and there is a big industry built around that market, but I can't see how pushing it on hyper kids can be considered any better than rubbing whisky on a crying baby's gums.
I am not sure what you are getting here. It seems that you are asking "why take x medicine because it does not sure it!"
AADD maybe?

:p

Seriously though, I recommend rereading my previous post and the article as well. I'm saying we shouldn't be giving kids drugs that in the long run only do them harm.
The incidence of serious side effect is very low, so I don't see what the issue is. The medications *do* help in the short term (a few years), but are not generally meant for more than that. In the long term the person has to learn to cope and adapt to it.
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
80,075
12,873
126
Originally posted by: Sinsear
Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: Sinsear
How come no one was ever diagnosed with ADD when I was growing up?
Unless you're older than 60, they were. Ritalin has been around since the early 1950s. They just used to call it by different names, like "hyperactive," "rambunctious," etc.
Oh; I figured it just didn't exist because we were thrown out of the house to go play everyday instead of placed in front of the TV and Playstations for hours on end.
In a sense, yes. People didnt believe or want to believe their kids had a disease. They just assumed some were more rambunctious than others, and that was the way it was.

When you let the kids go out and run around and let them act like maniacs it sucks up their energy and makes them a little easier to manage. But (if there is a disease) its still there, it just less noticable, and that makes the core problem less noticable.

As for my viewpoint: In principle I agree drugs should be the last solution to any problem. Too many parents want their kids to be normal and dont want the headaches of dealing with special needs. Its too darn easy to pop a couple pills in your child and let them go on their way.

I think boot camp is a much better cure for the ADD, but I also believe an all volunteer military is the most effective, so I cant advocate shoving them in against their will.
 

SarcasticDwarf

Diamond Member
Jun 8, 2001
9,574
0
76
Originally posted by: shortylickens

I think boot camp is a much better cure for the ADD, but I also believe an all volunteer military is the most effective, so I cant advocate shoving them in against their will.
If someone has not managed to learn to control their ADD/ADHD by the time they are 18 (probably under 0.1% of those who have it), they are screwed in life anyway. AD/HD is something you learn to control at around puberty, not years later.
 

ayabe

Diamond Member
Aug 10, 2005
7,449
0
0
ADHD is seriously over diagnosed and things like sitting your toddler in front of the TV can cause their brain to become accustomed to constant stimuli. When this is withdrawn the kids get antsy and bored when not constantly stimulated.

That being said, Big Pharma has a lot to do with how many people are diagnosed and "treated".

But I do think the disorder exists unlike Restless Leg Syndrome which is a complete fabrication.
 

Tab

Lifer
Sep 15, 2002
12,145
0
71
Originally posted by: shortylickens
Originally posted by: Sinsear
Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: Sinsear
How come no one was ever diagnosed with ADD when I was growing up?
Unless you're older than 60, they were. Ritalin has been around since the early 1950s. They just used to call it by different names, like "hyperactive," "rambunctious," etc.
Oh; I figured it just didn't exist because we were thrown out of the house to go play everyday instead of placed in front of the TV and Playstations for hours on end.
In a sense, yes. People didnt believe or want to believe their kids had a disease. They just assumed some were more rambunctious than others, and that was the way it was.

When you let the kids go out and run around and let them act like maniacs it sucks up their energy and makes them a little easier to manage. But (if there is a disease) its still there, it just less noticable, and that makes the core problem less noticable.

As for my viewpoint: In principle I agree drugs should be the last solution to any problem. Too many parents want their kids to be normal and dont want the headaches of dealing with special needs. Its too darn easy to pop a couple pills in your child and let them go on their way.

I think boot camp is a much better cure for the ADD, but I also believe an all volunteer military is the most effective, so I cant advocate shoving them in against their will.
There is no such thing as a cure of ADHD or any other mental/learning disability. You can however treat them with therapy or drugs.
 

umbrella39

Lifer
Jun 11, 2004
13,819
1,123
126
Originally posted by: Sinsear
Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: Sinsear
How come no one was ever diagnosed with ADD when I was growing up?
Unless you're older than 60, they were. Ritalin has been around since the early 1950s. They just used to call it by different names, like "hyperactive," "rambunctious," etc.
Oh; I figured it just didn't exist because we were thrown out of the house to go play everyday instead of placed in front of the TV and Playstations for hours on end.
Oh don't even get me started on that. My kids have resisted the outdoors like the plague since I bought an xbox 360 this summer.
 

kylebisme

Diamond Member
Mar 25, 2000
9,396
0
0
Originally posted by: SarcasticDwarf
The incidence of serious side effect is very low, so I don't see what the issue is.
The article doesn't say anything about the side effects being very low, rather it quotes the study as reporting that the children taking the drugs in general suffer "a substantial decrease in their rate of growth". That is a rather serious side effect, and it would be surprising if it were anything but the normal as extended use of amphetamines tends to lead to malnourishment, and malnourishment in children tends to lead to stunted growth.
Originally posted by: SarcasticDwarf
The medications *do* help in the short term (a few years), but are not generally meant for more than that. In the long term the person has to learn to cope and adapt to it.
And the study shows that the drugs being prescribed don't serve any benefit in the long term, but instead simply leave the children no better off but rather suffering from stunted growth.

Seriously, for you and anyone else defending this practice; would you also rub whisky on a baby's gums to make it stop crying, regardless of the long term effect that has on a child's development?
 

CanOWorms

Lifer
Jul 3, 2001
12,404
1
0
BBC is a propaganda tool of the UK government used to keep the peasants in line. If the peasants don't believe in any aid that the drug provides, the drugs will no longer be used by the NHS, and thus the Queen can buy a new diamond.
 

Red Dawn

Elite Member
Jun 4, 2001
57,530
3
0
Originally posted by: CanOWorms
BBC is a propaganda tool of the UK government used to keep the peasants in line. If the peasants don't believe in any aid that the drug provides, the drugs will no longer be used by the NHS, and thus the Queen can buy a new diamond.
Obviously you didn't take your meds today.
 

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