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Methods of Treatment for Adhd

Essay by   •  November 24, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  2,183 Words (9 Pages)  •  2,196 Views

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Methods of treatment for ADHD

Through science and the latest technology many new ways to treat the mental disorder ADHD have been developed. Children who have been diagnosed with this disorder have been treated as guinea pigs. These children have sampled many different drugs which can led to harmful effects in the future. Some drugs that have been used, have only been tested on animals. As more cases of ADHD are emerging into the public eye more drugs are being mass produced to reduce the epidemic. These drugs have very little experience in treating ADHD. Because there is no cure, widespread medications are being developed to treat this disorder. Many parents are willing to try anything in order for their child to be "normal". Therefore parents rush to try the latest advances not realizing that it can drastically change their child's life, cause other problems, or may even led to death.

The main way ADHD is treated is through medication. Their are four groupings of medications that treat ADHD which include stimulants, antidepressants, adrenergics, and antipsychotics. Although these drugs do serve as an immediate solution they are only covering up the problem. As children grow up taking these pills they become addicted and need these pills in order to function. These pill do control hyperactive episodes but also result in many negative side effects. Recently parents have been trying alternative methods to treat this disorder. These methods come from diet, behavior thearpies and natural remedies which can't harm the child.

Stimulants are the most common medication prescribed to control ADHD. Stimulants help to increase a child's' attention span in order for them to focus in the school or home setting. Through stimulants children can concentrate on his or her work, Since most children who have ADHD suffer from depression or anxiety the stimulants also help to control the depression. Stimulants used in treating ADHD include Ritalin, Adderall, Dexedrine and Cylert. These medications have been proven to be very effective in helping behavior episodes. "Research studies indicate that the majority of children treated with stimulant medications (about 70%) will show a mild to moderate improvement on global and parent ratings of behavior (Wilens & Biderman, 1992)." Through these stimulants, parents feel they are solving the problem. Stimulants do have some short-term advantages but many setbacks. Stimulants may improve the attention, behavior ,and social interaction of individuals but can cause serious long term problems. Once these problems began there is no cure to fix them. Many adults who have taken stimulants as children are beginning to realize what harmful effects the drugs did to their bodies. Some short term effects include loss of appetite which can result in extreme weight loss of the child. Sleeping problems are also a result of stimulants. Insomnia can occur which causes the child to have extreme difficulty sleeping. Less harmful effects are aches, pains, crying and irritability for no reason. A common setback of stimulants is the behavioral rebound. Approximately one third of children with ADHD will experience extreme hyperactivity shortly after they have taken the stimulant. Although these side effects are somewhat harmful it has been proven that the use of stimulants can create a tic in many children which can be developed later on in life. These tics are involuntary muscle movements that are uncontrollable. Other serious side effects include hallucinations, slowed growth and an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. By taking these stimulants children are unmasking many other problems to cover up the ADHD. Although Ritalin is a very common stimulant doctors have recently come out with Focalin which is a modified version of the Ritalin. The Focalin contains only the most active component of Ritalin so small dosages can be administered. The problem with Focalin is that due to the extreme amounts of the drug in the dosage of the stimulant it can create an addiction. Another newly developed stimulant is Concerta. This drug offers a great deal of advantages over Ritalin but it to has many dangerous side effects. Although technology is forming new treatments they still have setbacks to them. Every stimulant causes some harmful side effects.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the use of Ritalin has tippled in the past decade. The effects of Ritalin are very short termed therefore periodic doses are required throughout the day. This becomes a major disadvantage during school time. Many children are embarrassed to go to the school nurse to receive their medications and many school systems lack the sufficient amount of nurses. The study compared the use of Ritalin and Adderal. The side effects of both drugs were very similar except Adderal tended to last longer. The drug Adderal proved to be very successful in schooling systems because no drugs needed to be administered. In a study conducted at the University of Texas, a Professor gave Adderal, Ritalin or a placebo drug to fifty-eight children. The results proved that seventy percent of the Adderal cases controlled symptoms after a single dose while only fifteen percent of Ritalin controlled symptoms after the first dose.. Many school system want children to take the Adderal because it lasts longer and doesn't wear off throughout the day.

In a study documented in the Wall Street Journal, the use of Ritalin has been associated with depression later on in life. The long term affects of Ritalin will alter the brain and cause depression. Studies show that Ritalin has become so overly used that children who show minor symptoms of ADHD are given Ritalin even though they don't actually have the disorder. A study conducted at The University of Texas showed that researches found rats who were given Ritalin in early years were much less active in later years then rats who weren't given the drug. The rats who were given the Ritalin were less interested in sugar, sexual activity and gave up on most tasks. "In defense of parents, they figure giving Ritalin is like giving aspirin," says William Carlezon...but one of the important implications of our work is the effect of Ritalin doesn't go away."

Antidepressants are another way ADHD is treated. Usually people with ADHD will also suffer from some form of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or learning disabilities. The antidepressant will change the mood and behavior to a pleasant one. Antidepressants most commonly affect the neurotransmitters seratonin or norepinephrine. There have been concerns regarding the safety of some antidepressants, such as Paxil and Zoloft. These antidepressants have unusual side effects such as strange and abnormal thoughts

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