School is tough? Take a pill

Some doctors are prescribing medication for Attention Deficit Disorder to low-performing children, even if they don’t fit the diagnosis, reports the New York Times. Well, at least one doctor is.

CANTON, Ga. — When Dr. Michael Anderson hears about his low-income patients struggling in elementary school, he usually gives them a taste of some powerful medicine: Adderall.

The pills boost focus and impulse control in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Although A.D.H.D is the diagnosis Dr. Anderson makes, he calls the disorder “made up” and “an excuse” to prescribe the pills to treat what he considers the children’s true ill — poor academic performance in inadequate schools.

“I don’t have a whole lot of choice,” said Dr. Anderson, a pediatrician for many poor families in Cherokee County, north of Atlanta. “We’ve decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment. So we have to modify the kid.”

“It is not yet clear whether Dr. Anderson is representative of a widening trend,” reports the Times. That means they could find only one doctor willing to admit he’s handing out ADHD pills as a performance enhancer. However, there’s some evidence that affluent students “abuse stimulants to raise already-good grades in colleges and high schools.”

Are there side effects to these medications? Yes, there are.

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  1. Mr. Anderson is a quack: a candyman that ought to lose his license. People like him legitimize abuse of serious drugs (see also and make attaining prescriptions harder for people who actually need those medications to function.

  2. Much the same is happening here in the UK – a label must be given to a child who is underperforming and then it’s meds, really worrying as there is no panacea in a pill for most, and it can start a lifelong dependency.

  3. George Larson says:

    How long till doing porly in schol becomes a disease?

  4. Stacy in NJ says:

    Hi-larious – not really

    ADHD meds are about as effect as antidepressants, which is to say not very.

    The hilarious part is the extravagant amount of money we spend on basically crap medications.

    Someday our grandchildren or great-grandchildren are going to look back on how we wasted resources and cry with frustration.

    And by resources I don’t mean trees; I mean billions of dollars in the bio-medical field spent to basciallly game the FDA into approving medicines that are BS.