ADHD medications are detrimental to the mental and emotional health of the children taking them. The conclusion that ADHD drugs have dubious results was reached in studies funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health in the USA) as well as a third study completed in Western Australia.

Researchers in Quebec surveyed over 16,000 kids from infancy to age 11. Their progress through childhood (with follow-up surveys done every 2 years) was continued through 2008.

Those in favor of treating “ADHD kids” with pharmaceutical drugs probably had high hopes for proving their point and shoring up their position. After all, psychiatry as an industry has supported drugging “hyperactive” children for decades.

But the hopes of drug-happy mental health advocates were dashed. Instead, the researchers concluded:

“The increase in medication use is associated with increases in unhappiness and a deterioration in relationship with parents. These emotional and social effects are concentrated among girls, who also experience increases in anxiety and depression. We also see some evidence of deterioration in contemporaneous educational outcomes including grade repetition and mathematics scores…”

Not very flattering to the “Treat them with psychiatric drugs” camp.

And of course earlier studies funded by the NIMH found no long-term benefit for children on the drugs.

The Raine Study in Western Australia concluded a long term study (eight years) on the health of thousands of children. The evidence showed that children who had been diagnosed with ADHD and then medicated had much worse outcomes than those never medicated. These same medicated children were a staggering 10.5 times more likely to fail in school than their un-medicated counterparts.

And the future for these children was equally grim, since past use of stimulant meds can contribute to permanently raised diastolic blood pressure resulting in serious health problems.

Luckily, there are alternatives to these dangerous pharmaceuticals. Healthy living advocate Dr. Mercola suggests ways to handle your child’s hyperactive symptoms without resorting to drugs. Some of his favorites:

  • Eliminating most grains and sugar, since they can cause allergies in those sensitive to them. Dr. Mercola suggests a “grain holiday” to see if their behavior improves without it.
  • Eliminate soft drinks, fruit juices and pasteurized milk
  • Increase  Omega 3 fats through a high quality animal based omega 3 fat. Dr. Mercola suggests krill oil as one good source.
  • Minimize processed fats and avoid all processed foods, particularly the ones that have artificial colors and flavors and that contain preservatives.
  • Clear all dangerous pesticides and commercial chemicals from your house.
  • Do not use commercial washing detergents and cleaning products. Use only naturally derived cleaning products with no added fragrances.
  • Spend time in nature with your child. This has proven benefits.

It is possible to break free of the “authority,” that gravely assigns one’s child a label and dictates a treatment consisting of dangerous narcotic drugs. Parents do have rights, especially when it comes to protecting the children they love. And there are alternatives to highly addictive and life-destroying drugs.