Giving children drugs isn’t the only answer

We shouldn't be prescribing harmful mind-altering drugs to children without any objective evidence to support the practice

By Barbara Bond

Several studies are coming to the forefront on the misdiagnosis and over-diagnosis of children regarded as having attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) followed by the potential catastrophic effects of prescribing psycho-stimulant medications.

It’s apparent there’s a glossing over of health reports and a lack of information given to parents and caregivers about the potential devastating harms and side effects stimulants/anti-psychotic drugs have on developing brains and bodies.

Based on very broad subjective criteria of observed behaviours, psychiatrists, psychologists and teachers are identifying young children who don’t seem to “fit” in having ADHD.

For too many years now children are being diagnosed and then told they have a “chemical imbalance.” They are then prescribed harmful mind-altering drugs without any objective evidence to support the practice.

“Children either incapable or unwilling to comply based on nothing more than their unique character and disinterest in a sedentary environment are deemed ill, disordered, diseased or otherwise,” quotes one study.

I invite you to think about the above when it comes to the consequences surrounding a consensus belief based on a professional guess.

By being selective in what is considered science we are ignoring (or avoiding) the discovery of very important variables such as undetected health conditions, the role of environment and interaction, sensitivities in diets, or a learning style not recognized in the standard public school curriculum, or lack of evolutionary perspective in normal brain functions.

The discovery of these variables would render these so-called scientific findings of very little value.

Furthermore, the systematic failures of our public school system in its adherence to a 19th century industrial cookie cutter design allows for the labeling and subsequent drugging of children because of the tremendous power schools have over them.

Scientists still struggle to isolate how the functions of the brain operate together.

In other words, they do not really know that when “deficits” and “chemical imbalances” are cited that these could merely be behaviours that have not quite matured yet. No one child goes through puberty the exact same way at the exact same time, however, children are expected to behave the exact same way at the exact same time.

As children come of  age, the “say no to drugs” philosophy trumpeted to youth today is really counterproductive. How can we instill valuable knowledge on drug abuse when we are giving children the idea that drugs can also make everything better? It is troubling to see how a stimulant drug can be viewed as harmful when it’s illegal, but taken as a “stabilizing” effect when taken as part of a “treatment program.”

Stimulants are potentially highly addictive drugs with cardiovascular, nervous, digestive, endocrine, and psychiatric side effects, and since 1971 the American Food and Drug Administration has tagged stimulants with a Schedule II designation which is reserved for the most dangerous of drugs (along with cocaine, opiates and morphine).

We as a society should be questioning the current practices concerning diagnosis and treatment of ADHD. With all the research out there no one in support or in opposition that can tell us exactly what is going on.

I feel there is a school of thought in the guise of legitimate science, causing stigmatization  by attaching labels to children,  made up of special financial interests with a resulting glossing over of the potential devastating side effects of a Schedule II drug on young bodies and brains.

As well, the antipsychotic Risperidone, which is being administered to children as young as four for the treatment of ADHD has not, according to Health Canada, ever been tested to be safe for children. All of this is being done without question, and without encouraged alternative methods, and without the needed public school restructure.

This should be raising profound awareness of our ethical intellectual, spiritual, and philosophical values regarding the future of our children.

Barbara Bond is a mother of two living in Terrace, BC. She’s a university student and an advocate for a drug free education for children.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Financial fallback plan in place for Mills Memorial replacement

That’s in case province rejects first submission

Local Skeena candidates for the Oct. 24 snap election

Current BC Liberal MLA Ellis Ross will be running again, as will Nicole Halbauer for BC NDP

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Vancouver Island sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Oak Bay man was attempting to circumnavigate the world solo

Majority needed to pass COVID-19 budget, B.C. premier says

John Horgan pushes urgent care centres in first campaign stop

Most Read