Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and The Prescription a Psychostimulant Drug

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and The Prescription a Psychostimulant Drug

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‘Boisterous’, ‘energetic’, and ‘spontaneous’ were once adjectives used to describe the behaviour of normal, healthy children. These days, similar behaviours might be labeled ‘problematic’, ‘hyperactive’, and ‘uncontrollable’, often resulting in the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the prescription of a psychostimulant drug (Lardizabal, 2012). According to the DMS-V, ADHD is described as a combination of “inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity” (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Due to the nature of the symptoms, ADHD can significantly hinder a child’s ability to succeed in a school setting, both academically and socially, which could have dire implications for their future (Faraone & Biederman, 2001). With over ten million children in the United States currently diagnosed with the disorder, ADHD has been labeled an epidemic and this has lead to a significant increase in the amount of research devoted to determining its cause and treatment (Stolzer, 2007). The increased attention has also attracted a great deal of controversy, with medical experts questioning the safety of administering psychostimulant drugs to children. Although the evidence is often contradictory, due to an increase in the documentation of the adverse side effects in children caused by psychostimulant medication, as well as an increase in the evidence of nonpharmacological treatments successfully reducing the symptoms of ADHD, many parents have become reluctant in allowing their children to take the prescribed drugs (Isaacs, Watkins, Hodgens, & Zachor, 2002). This movement has sparked an increase in the amount of parents questioning their own level of responsibility in the management of symptoms of their child’s disorde...


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...ofeedback, 28, 63-75. doi: 10.1023/A:1022321017467
Sinn, N. (2008). Nutritional and dietary influences on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Nutrition Reviews, 66, 558-568. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2008.00107.x.
Stolzer, J. M. (2007). The ADHD epidemic in America. Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, 9, 109-116.
Swanson, J., Kraemer, H., Hinshaw, S., Arnold, L., & Conners, C. (2001). Clinical relevance of the primary findings of the MTA: success rates based on severity of ADHD and ODD symptoms at the end of treatment. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 40, 168-179. doi: 10.1097/00004583-200102000-00011
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