Addiction

The Dangers of Rising Adderall Abuse among Teens

Call it a case of unintended consequences. Twenty years ago, the prescription medication Adderall debuted as a treatment for narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A stimulant, with amphetamine as its active ingredient, Adderall helped sufferers of narcolepsy stay awake, but it also increased mental focus and endurance for those diagnosed with ADHD.

Because of its effectiveness and relatively mild side effects, Adderall quickly became a common treatment for ADHD. But as its popularity increased, use of Adderall also began spreading beyond the people it was intended for. Today, students without ADHD regularly take Adderall as a study aid, in order to work longer and later than they would be able to otherwise. In 2009, 5 percent of American high school students were using Adderall for non-medical reasons, according to a University of Michigan Study—a rate that increased to 7 percent in 2013. A recent review of multiple studies published in the journal Postgraduate Medicine estimated that up to 10 percent of high school students and 5 to 35 percent of college students are misusing stimulants.
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ADHD and ADD

Should You Be Concerned About ADHD Meds?

A few weeks ago, we published an article that described the sleep problems that children and teens may experience while taking a medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Most people who are diagnosed with ADHD or attention deficit disorder usually wind up on a stimulant medication.

While we know that such medications help most people who take them, like all medications they also come with some unwanted side effects. One of those side effects for stimulants is disruption of a person's sleep.

So how bad a problem is it? And is it something you should consider taking your kid off of these meds?

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ADHD and ADD

Succeeding in College When You Have ADHD

Navigating the first year of college is hard for anyone, but staying organized and productive is especially difficult for those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). My impulsivity and lack of attention caused me to attend four different schools and declare three different majors.

Once I figured things out, though, I graduated with honors and secured gainful employment. Now I’m five classes away from earning a master’s degree.

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ADHD and ADD

Spreading Misinformation About ADHD

John Rosemond, MS is a nationally-syndicated columnist and parenting expert who's made a name for himself by promoting a lot of old-fashioned parenting skills. You know, like spanking. I suppose there's nothing wrong with ignoring research data and science that's been published in the past few decades (if that's your thing).

But I was a little taken aback by Rosemond's recent answer to a parent's concern that her child may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Rosemond starts his reply off with this outrageous claim: "First and foremost, there is no good science behind the diagnosis of ADHD."

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ADHD and ADD

Creativity for Better Performance

A long term-patient told a fascinating story a couple of weeks ago which points to the power of creativity in strengthening critical thinking. The person’s identity is well-disguised so no confidentiality is breached.

For several years I have been treating a young man (we’ll refer to him as Collin) with psychostimulants for chronic ADD and psychotherapy to address his perfectionism. We’re also working on finding a work environment conducive to combining his entrepreneurial proclivities and his considerable technological savvy. (He taught himself to code a complicated computer program that would benefit his industry.)

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ADHD and ADD

Too Little Behavioral Therapy for Kids with ADHD

At the end of May, a JAMA report noted that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2009-2010 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs shows that about 43 percent of U.S. children and teens received only ADHD medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

That compares to about 13 percent of those treated solely with behavioral therapy -- the best, first-line treatment recommended by every professional treatment guideline and the American Academy of Pediatrics. About 31 percent of children in the survey received both behavioral therapy and medication (the second recommended treatment option).

So the least recommended treatment for children and teens with ADHD is the most commonly used. What's going on here?

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ADHD and ADD

Too Many Preschoolers Getting Medications for ADHD

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has just published its first national study on the various forms of treatment used for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. The study examined the use of medication, behavioral therapy, and dietary supplements -- and its results were eye-opening.

Almost 1 in 4 preschoolers were treated with medication alone.

That is an astounding number, when you stop and consider that a preschooler's brain is still under active development. Prescribing stimulants to such a young child's brain is a bad idea, given we have no longitudinal, long-term studies demonstrating that these medications won't be harmful in a child's development.

Read on to learn more about the study's key findings.

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ADHD and ADD

Pharmacogenetic Testing May Change Psychiatric Treatments for ADHD, Depression


Prescribing medications has long been a trial-and-error approach for nearly any medication you could take. That's been especially true in psychiatry, where there are dozens of medications that could be prescribed for common mental health concerns, such as anxiety, depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

What if doctors had a better idea ahead of time which medications may work better for you than others, based upon your unique biology and biochemical makeup? They could then make prescribing decisions with a lot more knowledge, finding you a medication that would have a higher chance of working the first time.

This process is called pharmacogenetic testing -- and it's time is fast approaching.

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ADHD and ADD

Adult ADHD and the Medications Used to Treat it

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, more commonly referred to as ADHD or ADD, is more than a disorder of childhood. Over the years, doctors have grown to appreciate the fact that many adults suffer from the associated attention and hyperactivity symptoms.

These can range from a mild nuisance to profound disruption in daily life. In fact, in some studies, it's been reported that approximately half of children with ADHD will show signs of attention and impulse related problems later in life. This roughly translates to approximately eight million U. S. adults.

It's important to keep in mind that ADHD does not always look the same over time.
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Antidepressant

5 Medications or Supplements that Made Me More Depressed

The more medications and supplements I try in an effort to minimize my symptoms of depression and anxiety, the more I realize that every edible item you place in your mouth has a risk associated with it. Even the natural ones that are supposedly made from cats’ claws, wild yams, or some organic plant. Moreover, you need to read about its potential side effects and inform yourself before you place the thing on your tongue, because chances are your doctor won’t be well-versed in all the strange reactions it could cause.
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Antidepressant

How to Deal with the Side Effects of Your Meds


When I was diagnosed with schizophrenia eight years ago, the first medication I took was called Abilify. It was a new drug, one that was supposed to protect against metabolic issues like gaining weight.

It would’ve been fine but it had a nasty side effect no one told me about -- the constant, restless feeling of needing to move. I couldn’t sit still and I was so uncomfortable that I’d take miles-long walks every day just to ease the feeling. I felt like I was about to jump out of my skin.

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ADHD and ADD

Is Taking Adderall to Boost College Brain Performance Cheating?

A new study that will be presented tomorrow finds that 33 percent of students surveyed for a study at an Ivy League college said they did not think taking an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug, like Adderall or Ritalin, is a form of cheating. Another 25 percent weren't sure if it was cheating or not, and 41 percent thought it was.

It's almost as if these college kids need to crack open a dictionary once in a while. Cheating is "to act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, especially in a game or examination."

If you're not taking an ADHD drug for ADHD but rather for its brain-boosting effects, guess what? -- that's cheating.

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