George Carlin - Frontline TV - Tonight: Chemical Cosh for Kids? TV - Panorama: Kids on Pills TV - Mail on Sunday - Ned Hallowell - Andy Pakula - Frank Coppola - BBC Horizon TV - K L Carlson - Jacques Peretti: Billion Dollar Deals and How They Changed Your Health TV -
When you think about it, Attention-Deficit Order makes a lot of sense. In this country there isn’t a lot worth paying attention to. George Carlin
In 2001 Frontline reported on the dramatic rise in the number of children being given behaviour modifying medications. Frontline: The Medicated Child, PBS 2008
A teacher suggested he was hyperactive ... In preschool another teacher suggested medication ... and prescribed Ritalin .. It made him anxious. ibid.
A steep rise in the diagnosis and treatment of childhood mental illnesses of all kinds. ibid.
Tens of thousands of children are being prescribed powerful medication to control hyperactivity and improve their behaviour. According to the latest figures prescriptions for these drugs have almost doubled in the last five years. But now Britain’s leading psychological societies are calling for an urgent review. So is medication being used as a chemical cosh for kids? Tonight: Chemical Cosh For Kids? ITV 2011
The number of prescriptions for drugs to combat ADHD has gone up from four hundred and eighty thousand to eight hundred thousand in the last five years. Most of the drugs are stimulants, and work like the illegal drugs speed or cocaine. But for ADHD sufferers they radically increase focus and help concentration in the classroom. ibid.
The medication has side effects. And some of them are serious. ibid.
Bigger and bigger doses are required to achieve the same effect. ibid.
Diagnoses of mental disorders in children and adolescents are increasing at an alarming rate, especially in the USA where the number of manic depressive children has gone up by 4000% over the past ten years. The most widely used treatments are psychotropic drugs. Panorama, Kids on Pills, BBC 2000
In Europe different medical terms are applied to psychiatric irregularities in children ... The bipolar profile fitted a mere 7% of patients. ibid.
ADHD is currently the most frequent mental illness in children. ibid.
Using psychotropic drugs to treat children is a very recent science. ibid.
The tendency to reach out for pills is increasing in Europe too. ibid.
Perhaps most disturbing is the suggestion that ADHD is nothing more than the invention of pharmaceutical companies who have used clinical trials to create a disease that can be treated with their drugs. Mail on Sunday article 27th November 2007, ‘The Scandal of Kiddy Coke’
The best non-pharmacological treatment for ADD is exercise, sex and humour. Dr Ned Hallowell, co-author Driven to Distraction
The only problem with the world is a lot of people don’t have ADD. Andy Pakula, CEO of Think! Interactive Marketing
Man, I love my ADD. It always reminds me how much I don’t remember. Dr Frank Coppola
Sometimes a person with ADD feels as if their mind is moving as fast of a speeding train. Dr Frank Coppola
This is Liam. Aged five he was disruptive, hyperactive, and unable to focus ... Now, five years later, Liam’s life has been transformed. His new-found ability to concentrate is largely due to a drug called Methylphenidate. Best known to most of us as a brand name: Ritalin ... These drugs were originally designed fifty years ago for the treatment of adults with depression. Horizon: Pill Poppers, BBC 2010
ADHD is believed to be caused by an imbalance of key chemical messengers in the areas of the brain that control attention and memory. Ritalin appears to make these messengers more effective, helping to restore attention. Like all drugs, Ritalin comes with a cost. ibid.
Scientists believe a lack of the brain chemical dopamine makes it hard for children with ADHD to control their impulses. Carrot or Stick? A Horizon Guide to Raising Kids, BBC 2011
Scientists now think ADHD has a strong genetic component and can often run in families. ibid.
Rory Bremner is Britain’s best-known political impressionist. But there’s a side to Rory the public doesn’t see: ‘For as long as I can remember I’ve had a really active brain; the problem is when it gets too active …’ Horizon: ADHD and Me with Rory Bremner, BBC 2017
Rory has suspected for some time he may have ADHD. ibid.
ADHD can shatter lives and families and push some into a world of crime. ibid.
An estimated 5% of children and 3% of adults in the UK. ibid.
‘An interplay of multiplicities.’ ibid. expert
Stephanie Hall would be a young woman now, maybe a mother, if she hadn’t died in her sleep from a massive cardiac arrest six days before her twelfth birthday. She had been in first grade less than one month when her teacher told Stephanie’s mom she thought the little girl had Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Stephanie’s concerned parents took the perfectly healthy child to a physician and everything was found to be normal. But because the teacher had already labelled the child with ADD, the physician wrote a prescription for Ritalin. Poor Stephanie was too young to make her parents understand how ill the drug made her feel. It began with headaches and over the years led to hallucinations. Her heart disease was a silent side effect of the drug. Her parents paid the monster for six years to poison and terrorize their daughter. Even when Stephanie began to suffer hallucinations from the mind-altering drug, the answer was always to increase the dosage. No one considered the drug as the cause of Stephanie’s problems. Now Stephanie has no problems and her parents live with the loss. K L Carlson, How the Pharmaceutical Industry is Preying on Our Children
Many of the pharmaceutical companies marketing ADHD drugs have at one time or another referred to the research of one child psychiatrist prominent in this field. Jacques Peretti, Billion Dollar Deals and How They Changed Your Health I, BBC 2017