The use of drug therapy for children with ADHD has escalated to an alarming degree in this “pill popping” world. Most parents as well as educators became more demanding for a “quick fix” for children who have been diagnosed with academic and behavioral problems (O'Dell & Cook, 2004 ). There has been increasing concern about the potential adverse side effects of these medications. Prescriptions and drugs for ADHD come with discussion and directions for use, and the purpose of the drugs. The section for side effects often comes in technical language and small print, and many people do not read this section at all. People tend to stop reading this section when they encounter difficult chemical names and descriptions. Furthermore, some of these drugs have been prescribed “off label”, which implies that they are being prescribed for age groups and conditions for which they were not officially tested. Aside from these problems, the majority of parents who signed for the informed consent for the medication of their children, were not fully informed about the effects of the medication to their children (O'Dell & Cook, 2004 ).
This paper is deemed important since it would provide a comprehensive discussion of the adverse effects of ADHD medication for children. It has been found that the most common and frequently diagnosed disorder among children is AD/HD or attention deficit hyperactive disorder. According to the American Psychiatric Association’s (2000) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder Fourth Text Revised edition (DSM-IV TR), approximately 3-5% of school aged children have signs of ADHD. In other studies, the prevalence of ADHD was estimated to be 4-8% in USA, 10-20% in India, 9.5% in Korea and approximately 29.7% in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (Bu-Haroon, 1999). The DSM-IV TR has presented a set of guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of this disorder. The three predominant subtypes of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. According to the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities and Fowler (2004), the core symptoms of ADHD are developmentally improper levels of the three subtypes. The problems that occur are often persistent and result in difficulty of an individual or child’s major life areas such as school, home and social relationships (Fowler, 2004).
This paper aimed to argue that drug therapy should be the last option in treating children with ADHD, due to its potential adverse side effects. Parents should also be well informed and always weigh the benefits against the risks of drug therapy to the health of the children.
Overview of ADHD
Children who are diagnosed with this disorder often get blamed for their behavior and parents who deal with these children often report to have high levels of frustration and end up questioning their ability to raise them. Parents, especially mothers, who have children with ADHD often utilize their familiar social support networks as a means to...