Diagnoses of ADHD, ADD and other ‘disorders’ have resulted in a vast increase in the number of kids taking addictive and dangerous drugs from a very young age – even toddlers – right through to college. The number of prescriptions for ADHD drugs alone has increased about 500% in the last 15 years. That’s five times the number of kids taking drugs. Considering there is no real scientific evidence that ADHD exists other than as a contrived list of symptoms, that’s saying quite a lot. And it’s part of the reason why we’re fighting a prescription drug addiction epidemic.

What are the criteria for diagnosing ADHD and giving kids these drugs? The diagnosis can be based on of two sets of symptoms that are supposed to have been going on for six months and are disruptive. Let’s have a look at the first set only.

– Doesn’t pay attention to detail and makes careless mistakes.
– Doesn’t keep their attention on what they’re doing.
– Doesn’t seem to listen.
– Doesn’t follow instructions, or doesn’t finish things they started.
– Has trouble organizing.
– Doesn’t like to do things that take a lot of mental effort for an extended period of time, like homework.
– Loses things.
– Is easily distracted.
– Forgets things.

These symptoms are pretty common for almost all kids. They’re not ‘kids’ just because of their age; they’re kids because they haven’t yet mastered the control over their lives, their emotions, their minds, their bodies, their belongings, their social skills, and so on, the way adults supposedly have. Although, in truth, the same symptoms could describe many adults as well.

Nevertheless, parents and teachers who have trouble coping with these symptoms while they teach kids or raise them to adulthood as they gradually get things more under control, get the kids put on drugs. The kids aren’t cured, they’re just easier to control.

But the effect on the kids is disastrous. They may lose their appetite, become nervous and unable to sleep, get abdominal pains, digestive problems, heart palpitations, headaches and dizziness. Their blood pressure and heart rate may go up, and they may get very itchy and have skin rashes. They can even go psychotic, commit suicide and become homicidal.

When they try to quit these highly addictive drugs with these horrible side effects they can also become severely depressed. So, they keep taking them, or being given them.

They also get the idea there’s something wrong with them and they can’t function properly without drugs. And whenever they have trouble in the future, drugs could be the answer.

Often the symptoms these kids have can be otherwise addressed. Sometimes they’re not paying attention in class or doing their homework because they don’t understand something about the subject or it holds no interest for them. They may not remember where they put something because that thing had never been given a place of its own. Maybe they didn’t listen because they were talked ‘at’ and no one was really speaking with or listening to them.

Physical problems can also cause these symptoms – nutritional deficiencies, food and other allergies, chemical toxicity, too much sugar or junk food, and medical conditions like hormonal imbalances, and so on.

Giving kids drugs that are the equivalent of cocaine is never justified but, in all fairness, many parents don’t know about the other things that could be causing the symptoms or how to remedy them.

If you want to avoid the dangerous side effects of these drugs, if you don’t want to teach your kids that drugs are the answer to life’s problems and set them up for a life of prescription drug addiction, find a doctor who specializes in addressing these problems without drugs as your first step.

And if you have older or young adult children who are using prescription drugs, get them into an addiction treatment center to help them get off the drugs safely, and then help them find other solutions to their problems.