The Unfortunate Downside to a Supposed Cure
Addiction is debilitating. When someone’s body and mental stability are physically dependent on a drug, it begins to effect the addicts life. positive or negatively, the dependence of a substance can effect daily function, interpersonal relationships, or even make the dependent believe they need the drug to perform better. When a person has been prescribed a drug for their entire life, all they know is that drug, and without it, functioning seems abnormal. This is the case for most people who have been prescribed the ADHD medication “Adderall” since a young age. This is a drug that gives ADHD patients the magical ability to function normally by blocking the side effects of the diagnosis. Whether it be controlling outbursts, making it easier to focus, or class performance enhancing, being prescribed at a young age will make a child grow up thinking they need the drug to function normally. This is the problem at hand. We cannot idly sit by to setting up our diagnosed children to be dependent on a drug, regardless of its benefits.
The prescription of Adderall, along with other ADHD medications is readily available to all ADHD diagnosed children. This is a drug that is effective, and positive results will be shown in the short term. This is what the parents of the perscribed individual wants to see, and soon to come growing children realizing the drugs effect on themselves. All of the symptoms involved with ADHD, like inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, lack of focus, disorganization, fidgeting, excessive talking, or frequent interrupting, are controlled by the medication. An article titled, “Adderall vs. Ritalin: What’s the Difference?” explains how the drug works, saying it “..work by increasing the availability of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine in your CNS connections. This speeds up your brain activity.” Speeding up the brain activity causing the superhuman focus and ability to become prevalent is what makes the drug readily perscribable to those with ADHD symptoms. As the drug is administered and the brain is working faster than without, the encompassed performance enhancing becomes prevalent.
This is where the problem starts: The miracle pill taken every day that without will prompt underachievement of what could potentially be achieved while on the drug. Depending on a drug to make you perform, rather than relying on what is normally produced by the body sets up a child for many problems in the future like addiction. The purpose for the pill is being put into effect and working, but what happens if the pill is not there? An article titled, “Adderall Addiction and Abuse” posted by the Addiction center states, “The brain of an addicted person is dependent on Adderall to stimulate alertness and productivity. Without Adderall, addicted people often feel tired and mentally foggy. These are symptoms of Adderall withdrawal, a strong sign of an addiction.” Someone who relies on this artificial performance, after receiving the skills they have obtained through the drug, can act like a bubble pop when the drug is taken away, becoming slower, and simply not performing as well.
In taking medication every day, especially longer down the line subconsciously becomes a way of life. There is no thought in taking the pill, since it is now a routine, and the only self that is known becomes the self on the drug. I personally feel that it is sad how it happens. Taking that pill everyday because the doctor prescribed it, and now being reliant on that pill to succeed is how the problem begins, and in most cases is not the individuals beginning choice to be put on the medication.
Take coffee as an example, I’m sure many people insist that coffee is what gets them through the day and without this coffee, they would perform less efficiently. The prescription of Adderall, along with other ADHD medications creates the same situation. By showing the parent, and child a more, in a sense, normal version of themselves creates the same problem of feeling inadequate without. I’m sure if a coffee drinker never was introduced to coffee, they would have no idea how much better they would perform with it. Even if it works, the problem of it working brings the problem of reliance.
Since determining an aspect of someone’s life is a very probable result of prescribing in the sense of dependence, we should at least avoid prescription in minors. These ADHD medications bring with them heavy self improvement, and that is the counterintuitive aspect (the counterintuitive aspect being the fact that a doctor should not be prescribing something that could be so life changing, and dependence causing to someone looking for help). It is not right to show a child a better them through taking medication. Making the user believe that the drug will make it easier to function more efficiently is exactly why the drug should not be prescribed. Imagine being on a drug that you are brought up thinking makes you better than you actually are. Having to be constantly being reminded to take the medication, never missing a day, and being on this mind altering drug. What makes the drug so dangerous, is how the medication needs to be taken on a regiment, which in turn leads to becoming a habit.
The problem of these ADHD medications can be avoided by not prescribing and instead, providing behavioral therapy. In an article by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) titled “Behavior therapy for young children with ADHD” they say that, “Behavior therapy is effective treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that can improve a child’s behavior, self-control, and self-esteem.” As a parent I would much rather my child learn to deal with his symptoms through coaching, rather than relying on a drug. This dependence can be avoided by not giving the medication, and actually using a safer method that proves results. although it may be harder and less effective than treating it with medication, the problem of addiction can be avoided.
Adderall vs. Ritalin: What’s the Difference? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/adderall-vs-ritalin
Adderall Addiction and Abuse – Prescription Amphetamines. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.addictioncenter.com/stimulants/adderall/
Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). (2017, April 10). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/behavior-therapy.html