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 ( Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ) 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 prescribed 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 prescribed to those with ADHD symptoms. As the drug is administered and the brain is working faster than without, the encompassed performance enhancing becomes prevalent.
In today’s society, the trust we put into doctors goes a long way. We follow their prescriptions and advice because we were paying them to give us the best answers to our problems. Rightfully so, we should trust them, but we should also realize that doctors are not in the business of caring about the long, long term. What is best for a child at a young age may not be the best thing for them as an adult. Unfortunately, our society’s view of what truly helps is medication, and some parents, along with their doctors guidance, take the medication route for their children. The prescription of Adderall, a medication that parents with ADHD diagnosed children resort to, although may be positive for a child in the short term, can lead to lifelong dependency issues and social problems.
A child who has symptoms of ADHD, may blurt out the answers before the questions have been completed, has difficulty awaiting turn, or intrudes and interrupts others. Temperaments that can simply be the result of bad teachings, and immaturity. As a parent, seeing your child struggle and not be able to focus at a young age puts parents in a position where they would do anything to help their kid. Going to the doctor and asking for his advice is a start to finding a solution. When the doctor assesses the child to having ADHD, the next recommended step is medication. The problem is that agreeing on the prescription of medication as the solution to their child’s classroom disturbances can be a lifelong decision.
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.” The withdrawal symptoms caused by Adderall addiction makes it hard for users to quit on their own. the come down, the grogginess, and mental skill lessening without the drug all boils down to keeping on the cycle of getting that medication, and coming back up to full potential. 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.
The Recovery village, which specializes in addiction awareness/education, put an article up on their website titled, “Is Adderall Safe? | Safe for Adults and Children?” describing the true risk of the drug. The article describing the pills purpose as, “… not meant to be a long-term treatment because symptoms of ADHD often get better in children as they get older.” We cannot deny the positive performance effect of the drug, and with that comes the problem. With these amazing results of the child’s improvements performance, why would anyone want to stop taking it? Resorting back to a less functioning self is not the ideal situation. As their adolescent ADHD symptoms presumably subside, a diagnosed individual is already on that daily regiment of popping that pill each day that without, could not function to their presumed highest. Someone who is reliant on this pill, and who has been brought up entrusting that pill with their normality in society cannot simply say goodbye to the pill when symptoms vanish. Once medication is perceived to be this sort of “Miracle pill” to the user, who thinks the medication is a necessary part of their daily success, that is where the problem unavoidably starts.
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. I also say that the medication determines a child’s life because it puts them on the path of dependence. 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.
The matter of originally classifying a child’s temperaments, and immature qualities as ADHD stigmatizes a child, and puts them in a category different from others who are perceived to be “normal.” Once this connotation of being less functioning than the normal kids is put around an adolescent, they will start to think they need medication to be normal. In a YouTube video titled, “CCHR Co-Founder Dr. Thomas Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus” Dr. Thomas Szasz describes the connotation an illness or disease has now. He believes that any disease cannot be not based on behavior, its something in the body that malfunctions. The stigma and connotation ADHD has around it is socially constructed. By diagnosing a child with ADHD and classifying it as a disease, or disorder stigmatizes a child, and puts them in a category that they should not be in. Parents should not think that their kid has an illness based on behavior, and should not jump to try to treat it. Instead, society, and doctors push to treat immediately. Making a child feel like he is sick and needs the medication to be normal destroys their perception of their own life by already seeing themselves as having an issue. Putting them in the pill cycle till they don’t have any more pills to take… and when they don’t have the pills, they believe they cannot be normal.
The other issue of stopping the medication intake is Adderall’s extremely addictive properties. The devastating effects of addiction should be enough to deter anyone from approaching any drug, but people tend to overlook, and outweigh addiction with all of the miracle works of the drug. In a first person account of one woman’s Adderall downfall published by The Washburn Review, in an article titled, ”The real effects of Adderall: a personal testimony” Taylor Evans goes in depth in her experiences. Evans knew that she did not have ADHD, but a simple visit to the doctors office with descriptions of problems with paying attention, and whatever other fluff she needed to embellish on to get the Adderall prescription. Evans loved the drug, comparing taking Adderall to “being superwoman.” She could get all of her homework done, write papers longer than the required length, clean her house until it was spotless and still pick up extra hours at work. Once someone builds up this notion of only achieving that success from the medication, they will make the connection of pill equaling success, and no pill equaling no success. As time went on, Evans addiction to the drug worsened. The author says, “…Evans started accomplishing less at school and work and shifted her main focus to finding more pills. This disrupted both her studies and home life”. The drug will turn the user into them fully depending on the medication.
The biggest refutation to my argument of Adderall being unsafe prescription is those who believe in Adderall’s therapeutic abilities. These medical properties should not be ignored, and I am not saying that the drug does not have medical properties. If it is as bad as I argue, then why is it still legal? It has to be helping out those with ADHD, and others who take the drug for performance enhancing.
The Invention of Adderall became what it was to compete in the market for ADD/ADHD medications, and eventually rose to being one of the most prescribed medications to treat ADD/ADHD. This hype over the medicine can be credited to its surprising results. In an Analog Classroom Assessment of Adderall in Children With ADHD, the effectiveness of the drug was tested. In this study of 30 children with ADHD, the effects of different dosages (5mg, 10mg, 15mg, 20mg), and a placebo were tested to see how the drug preformed.
For each treatment condition, a capsule was administered in the morning and assessments were performed in an analog classroom setting every 1.5 hours across the day. Subjective (teacher ratings of deportment and attention) and objective (scores on math tests) measures were obtained for each classroom session, and these measures were used to evaluate time-response and dose- response effects of Adderall.” In conclusion, “For doses of Adderall greater than 5 mg, significant time course effects were observed. Rapid improvements on teacher ratings and math performance were observed by 1.5 hours after administration, and these effects dissipated by the end of the day. The specific pattern of time course effects depended on dose: the time of peak effects and the duration of action increased with dose of Adderall.
In conclusion to this study, the addition of Adderall has shown that class performance has greatly increased. Showing that this medication is effective in correcting these ADHD symptoms.
We cannot overlook the short term benefits Adderall has on those with ADHD. Although there are long term effects of taking the drug, giving your child that boost in their start of schooling could benefit the child. In an article posted by Attitude Magazine, an ADHD blog, they say “Experts agree that parents should consider ADHD medications when symptoms interfere with their child’s social, emotional, or academic life.” Starting your child off with medications to quill their hyperactive tendencies could prevent interferences in their development that would come if symptoms were not dealt with. All of this information makes the medication seem important and almost like it rips the child out of the pit of failure, and gives them the opportunity to improve at a young age. If this is the case, it is still changing how a child would normally function, and still changes their own adapted personality. This outside force of medication, although changing the success of the child, renders too many negatives. The unfortunate upmost negative being addiction
This topic first spiked my interest when I first moved into college and started living with an Adderall addict. As I watched him up his daily dosage (without being prescribed to) and seeing how dependent he was on the drug to be able to wake up, go to class, maintain his appetite, and stay focused scared me. This is a great example of someone who has been prescribed Adderall ever since they were a kid. He mentioned to me that sometimes, when he felt like he was lacking, or becoming slow, he wondered if he even took his mediation that day. Upon this recollection, he would assume that he did not, and take more of the medication. His descript sounded like his situation was a mess. Not only did it scare me, but it made me fascinated as to why a doctor would prescribe such a drug readily to millions of people.
In fact, this idea of why doctors prescribe can easily be understood from an article focusing on the work of psychiatrist, Donald Levin titled, “Behaviorism and Mental Health An alternative perspective on psychiatry’s so-called mental disorders.” This article explains how easy it is to get a prescription, and the many ways why it is so easy. the diagnosis and prescription of medicine is what people see psychologists for nowadays. Donald says, “You have to have a diagnosis to get paid,” he said with a shrug. “I play the game.” Psychiatrists no longer engage in talk therapy anywhere near how they used to. instead, they prescribe medication to alternate behavior. The pills become what keeps the person going through her day as if it was a normal day, just drug induced. He gives the example of how a psychiatrist can earn $150 for three 15-minute medication visits compared with $90 for a 45-minute talk therapy session to show why a psych might just resort to a prescription, and getting paid for it.
It is not natural to have something change your performance so much that without it, fullest potential would not be reached. The use of the medication becomes extremely detrimental when the thought of how performance without the medication begins to taunt the user. This thought that they need it to perform is the problem with the drug. Without the medication, the prescribed individual will be forced to deal with reality in what they are equipped with. Having gone through life using this pill as their crutch does not show someone what they are naturally equipped with. Basically, this everyday routine of living with the benefits of the prescription blinds the individual of the fact that they need the medicine in order to act to their adapted fullest (adapted fullest being what they could have naturally achieved without medical influence). With all of this being said, the prescription of Adderall, and other ADHD medications should not even be considered. Giving someone this false home, and self reliance on a drug will lead to so many problems that can easily be avoided. Regardless of the short term benefit, this sort of showing someone the easier life by performance enhancing should not be acceptable.
Is Adderall Safe? | Safe for Adults and Children? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/adderall/adderall-safe/#gref
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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
McCarthy, L. F. (2018, March 08). Top 10 Questions About ADHD Medications for Children… Answered! Retrieved March 20, 2018, from https://www.additudemag.com/top-10-questions-about-meds-answered/
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