ADHD questions: Pharma crock?
The dubious notion of “better living through pharmacology” should be questioned even more closely regarding the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder industry.
Historically, ADHD, as it's better known, affects an estimated 5 percent of children. Yet recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show 15 percent of high school-age children diagnosed with ADHD, and 3.5 million children — up from 600,000 in 1990 — on ADHD drugs. Analyzing that data, The New York Times finds ADHD now “narrowly trailing” only asthma among most frequent long-term diagnoses in children.
The Times says marketing stretches ADHD “to include relatively normal behavior like carelessness and impatience” and “has often overstated the pills' benefits.” Since 2000, the Food and Drug Administration has cited “every major” ADHD drug “for false and misleading” ads.
Online quizzes encourage ADHD treatment. Celebrities are paid to endorse ADHD drugs, doctors to push particular brands to colleagues; ads boost medical journals' page counts. ADHD materials are placed in schools. And drug makers increasingly target the far larger adult market.
It's time to question whether the ADHD industry's growth is a matter of genuinely better diagnosis and treatment — or of overdiagnosis, overprescription and downplaying ADHD drugs' abuse/addiction potential and side effects.
But the most basic question to be answered is whether the entrenched pharmacology-medical complex truly leads to better living or not.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- The Export-Import Bank: The Senate’s shame
- Pittsburgh Tuesday takes
- Greensburg Tuesday takes
- Alle-Kiski Tuesday takes
- At the VA: The waiting dead
- Yes, the IRS targeted conservatives
- U.N. Watch: The ‘race’ is on
- Council fails again: Shoot straight, Ford City
- The wind ruse: A failed policy
- Sunday pops
- The Keystone XL pipeline: No surrender