Since Gianna is on the road, I hope she won’t mind my contribution to the blog this afternoon. This is not news to any of us at Beyond Meds, but there is a damning article in the New York Times morning edition about how longterm Ritalin use does not result in general, in improved school performance down the road. The author states,
Attention-deficit drugs increase concentration in the short term, which is why they work so well for college students cramming for exams. But when given to children over long periods of time, they neither improve school achievement nor reduce behavior problems. The drugs can also have serious side effects, including stunting growth.
More specifically, the article states that 3-years down the road, there is no academic difference between stimulant-treated children with “ADD” and children with ADD who are not maintained on stimulants.
by eight years there was no evidence that medication produced any academic or behavioral benefits. (read more)
Though the author doesn’t go this far, we’ve noted before on Beyond Meds that Ritalin is often a “gateway drug”. Long-term use of amphetamines can trigger what gets labeled a “manic episode” in adults and children, and leads the child to be moved up to a bipolar diagnosis, as has been well laid out in Anatomy of an Epidemic.
Read the rest of the article here