22 March 2010
Behavior Modifying Drugs:
Should parents turn to drugs in efforts of helping their children with ADHD?
“ADHD is a common behavioral disorder that affects an estimated 8% to 10% of people in the United States” (Kutscher). Boys are about three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with it, though it is not yet understood why. Children with ADHD generally have problems paying attention or concentrating. They cannot seem to follow directions and are easily bored or frustrated with tasks. They also tend to move constantly and are impulsive, not stopping to think before they act. These behaviors are generally common in children. But they occur more often than usual and are more severe in a child with ADHD. These behaviors that are common with ADHD interfere with a child's ability to function at school and at home. Adults with ADHD may have difficulty with time management, organizational skills, goal setting, and employment. They may also have problems with relationships, self-esteem, and addictions. Doctors may be too quick in diagnosing the patient with ADHD and prescribing them drugs to treat the problem. This is not the best method all the time, as these drugs have proved to be dangerous and sometimes fatal. The use of behavior modifying drugs should be treated only as a last resort after trying other treatments or alternatives for the problem because of the different risks that come along with the drugs.
Children may have a problem that needs to be attended too, but drugs should not always be the first option selected. There are a good percentage of the millions of children in the United States, as well as around the world that suffer from ADHD, enough to be attentive to this disorder. For example, the different types of behavioral problems that are associated with the disease is explained: “Children suffering from behavioral disorders can exhibit behaviors such as distractibility, lack of focus, anxiety, and hostility” (Chittom). This shows how children may have problems in behavior, and how to notice the indications of ADHD. This also proves how children experiencing symptoms of ADHD may be a distraction in an learning environment and or elsewhere. The disorder might be due to biological means. For instance, in “Counterpoint: The Risks of Behavioral Drugs Outweigh the Benefits,” Lynn-Nore Chittom says, “ Medical providers believe that the disorder is directly linked to the brain’s inability to properly process serotonin or dopamine” (Chittom). This shows how ADHD is actualized in scientific means. This also evinces the point that it could be a genetic disorder passed down generation to generation to children and is unpreventable in a case such as that. When one’s child has ADHD, they might want the quick scapegoat or in fact want to try a cure the problem as best as possible. But, drugs would not always prove to be the best choice for these parents. This could be seen in “Counterpoint: The Risks of Behavioral Drugs Outweigh the Benefits,” where drugs can cause even more problems: “These intense behavioral responses to medications intended to resolve issues such as distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulse control may exchange one challenge for another in the children being medicated” (Chittom). This depicts that by using medications to help the children’s problem it could backfire and create a whole new problem, maybe as or even more severe than the original one. What one might obtain from this is that the use of drugs in efforts of helping children with ADHD might be more problematic than the actual issue to start with.
The risks of drugs are very high and may be very harmful to the children prescribed them. In many cases, drugs used to treat ADHD have caused more harm than there intended purpose to help the base problem. As a case in point, Lynn-nore Chittom says, “Research showed that a group of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake...