Children are being overmedicated for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and being diagnosed too quickly when other treatments besides medication may be available. The reason I’ve chosen this topic is that it affects my family. Most of my nieces and nephews are diagnosed with ADHD, but are they really? Is there a long-term risk for their prescribed medications? What’s the best alternative? The heightened awareness of this disorder has caused an alarming and dramatic growth in cases amongst children in recent years. This trend has also caused doctors to misdiagnose patients by not spending enough time with them. They often have other problems such as learning disabilities, anxiety, sleep apnea, and emotional distress from child abuse.
Doctors have also mistaken natural developmental immaturity for ADHD when prescribing medication for children under the age of twelve. In the three articles researched thus far noted in this proposal, I’ve learned about the early improper diagnosis and the unknown long-term effects of the antipsychotic drugs that are being prescribed to children. Critics say that there’s no doubt that ADHD is a serious disease and the medication being prescribed is showing positive effects in those that are diagnosed. The problems moving forward with this argument is that it’s hard not to agree with both sides to an extent. The disease is real, but medicating young children without knowing the long-term effects doesn’t seem safe. Have other alternative treatments been studied as in-depth as the antipsychotic drugs? These two arguments leave me unsure on my stance for the long-term treatment of children. What’s in the parent’s best interest when taking these courses of treatments for their loved ones? Sanford Newmark’s article published in the Wall Street Journal, “Are ADHD Medications Overprescribed,” was very compelling.
Newmark has a very open mind when discussing this issue and seems to be split in the middle. He presents facts and takes a firm stance surrounding those, but agrees with critics when it comes to the unknown of the medications being prescribed to children. While saying that ADHD is indeed a disease, he contends that doctors are often overprescribing and wrongly prescribing children by not taking the time to properly diagnose them. In the article “Children and Antipsychotic Drugs,” raises the concerns about prescribing antipsychotic drugs to adolescents. The long-term effects are widely unknown in cases of children with developing minds. It has only been since 2006 that the FDA approved the use of these antipsychotic drugs in pediatric cases. As more research is conducted I’m hoping to establish a firmer stance on my argument using studies and facts cited in the available articles. I believe in my stance fully but would like more facts to back it up in my argument. In the process of this research, I hope to be educated on the alternative treatments. Perhaps my family can take a different approach on this disorder and not have to resort to medications.