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Adhd Medications and the Effects on Young Children

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ADHD Medications and the Effects on Young Children

        Have you ever wondered about if your young child may have ADHD or just might be a hyper child with lack of discipline? Most of the time it is the fact that the child has been raised with lack of discipline rather than having ADHD, but the most common thing for parents to do is give their children ADHD medication which can lead to misdiagnosing your young children. As that is a current problem today, is that people medicate their children as a way to deal with issues that they don’t want to deal with. This can lead to long term damage or even overdosing your child, especially when they are young. I am going to tell you about the harms of using ADHD medication, otherwise known as stimulant medication, on children that don’t need it; also I will talk about some other ways to deal with your children’s hyperactivity/problems.

        Today most children that are put on ADHD medication, is because parents see them as over-active children and many times it’s because they have a low attention span when they are in school. This comic that I have included shows that almost every child is on some type of ADHD medication. You can see that the teacher is swaying the only student left in the class that still is a normal child to not be left behind. You can tell that, this student has an imaginative mind and wants to be outside and that she is creative. But society is saying that, that is not normal for children to have an overactive mind and that she is falling behind. The teacher wants her to be like the other students in her classroom, who are expressionless and only thinking about their school work. In the comic it shows that all the students in the classroom are hooked up to test helmets with side panels attached so each kid cannot see to the sides of them. You can tell that at the top of each of the helmets are hoses which are hooked up to a central system. I choose this comic to represent what I’m stating because it shows that if young children are put on ADHD medication they lose their personality and sense of imagination and become almost lifeless kids with the only intention to not fall behind and be like everyone else.[pic 1]

        Some researchers and parents may state that kids should not be overactive, hyper, and have a huge imagination. They would say that it is not normal for a child to act hyper and be overactive. But it’s perfectly normal for young children to be hyper, have a large imagination, and be overactive.  In fact it is part of being a child and every child goes through this stage in their life time. But it is the few that say that we should medicate children because this is not a normal phase for children to go through. In fact “according to the most recent data from the centers for disease control and prevention, approx. 78%  of U.S children have been allegedly diagnosed with ADHD, with more than half taking stimulant medications for their condition” (Journal of Health Economics pg. 1). This percentage is way too high for just children between the ages of 4-12; by this statement we medicate our children rather than having them just be the children that they should be. Using stimulant medication for a long time can have long term damage and possible that children can become addicted to it as they would using a high stimulant recreational drug.

        According to the Canadian Medical Association “children who were relatively younger than their peers within the same grade were more likely to receive a diagnosis or a prescription for the treatment of ADHD” (CMAJ pg. 755). They also stated that “children born in the last two weeks of the year were at a higher risk of being diagnosed with ADHD than children born in the first two weeks of the year” (CMAJ pg. 759). There are no known specific causes of ADHD but there are some environmental factors that contribute to the development of ADHD. There are also some developmental factors that play in as well; like when a child is stuck into a classroom full of kids a year or two older than him, he is going to act more hyper and have a larger imagination than the other students in his class. This is one of the number one reasons that young children are put on ADHD medication in the first place. This happens because in the classroom teachers see the younger student as a child that is hyper and has an overactive mind, so they think that this child has ADHD when in fact it is the young child is in an environment with other children more mature than him. Most school across the nation have “school entry dates that are at different times of the year and depend on the cut off date rather than the season that a particular child was born in” states the Canadian Medical Association. (CMAJ pg. 755) if schools change the way children were admitted into school it would dramatically change the percentage of young children that are ADHD medication, and it would better the health of these younger children.

ADHD medication (stimulant medication) gives the same stimulant/focus as cocaine does. This brain scan that I provided shows the brain activity for when someone is on cocaine and it is compared to someone who is on ADHD medication. Both drugs are similar in the areas that it targets the brain, which it stimulates it to focus more on what is important. Each of these drugs targets the dopamine, which is a natural stimulant produced by the human body, and increases it to more than what the body is used to producing so the user is more focused on what they need to do. It shows this in the photo that in the last scan of each medication it shows a high level of dopamine in the brain, the red parts. Having these high levels of dopamine in a child of a young age can be very dangerous in the long run. These children can either become addicted to the ADHD medication and it then becomes hard to break that habit, or they can have long term effects such as shorter in height, lower weight than other people the same age, and in some cases restlessness and insomnia. [pic 2]



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