Topics: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Methylphenidate, Dopamine Pages: 4 (1070 words) Published: October 9, 2014
Are ADHD Medications Overprescribed?

Children are being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) too easily and without being properly tested for ADHD. Many children are being misdiagnosed because parents, teachers, and doctors are not taking into consideration that many other factors can lead to behavioral problems. If used properly ADHD medications such as Ritalin can be very helpful to children who have this disorder, but far too many parents and doctors are too quick to prescribe medications to control behavior. We owe it to children to try to find another way first before a prescription is written up.  

Are ADHD Medications Overprescribed?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnosis has become highly controversial in recent years, with much of the controversy focused around the increasing use of the drug methylphenidate hydrochloride, an amphetamine, more popularly known by its trade name "Ritalin," as the treatment of choice (Laver-Bradbury, 2013). Methylphenidate is a stimulant medication, which is believed to act by increasing absorption by the dopamine receptors in the brain, which are believed to be faulty in children with ADHD, thus calming the child’s impulsivity and enabling them to concentrate more (Poulin, 2007). There is no doubt that ADHD is a real disease that can have serious consequences if left untreated, but in recent years, the number of children in the U.S. that are being diagnosed and treated for ADHD has grown dramatically. This is a major concern among parents and child advocates. When a child's behavior or academic performance starts disturbing teachers, they usually make the preliminary ADHD diagnosis and then, they report it to the parents. The parents then take the child to a pediatrician who makes the final diagnosis and prescribes a stimulant medication, typically Ritalin. The problem with this scenario is that this diagnosis happens without the type of thorough history and...

References: Poulin, C. (2007). From attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder to medical stimulant use to the diversion of prescribed stimulants to non-medical stimulant use: connecting the dots. Addiction, 102(5), 740-751.
Lerner M., Wigal T.(2008). Long-Term Safety of Stimulant Medications Used to Treat Children with ADHD. J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 46(8) 38-48. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20080801-06
Laver-Bradbury, C. (2013). ADHD in children: An overview of treatment. Nurse Prescribing, 11(12), 597-601.
Potera, Carol. (2013). ED Visits for Nonmedical CNS Stimulants Rise Dramatically. The American journal of nursing, 113. Retrieved from
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