Doctors are apparently using psychotropic drugs such as Adderall on children who do not need them, putting patients at risk for seizures, hallucinations and sudden death. Adderall is intended to be used on children diagnosed with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder. However, it is now being given to children whose grades don’t measure up.
There are protocols for prescribing Adderall and similar drugs, but surveys have shown that almost 20 percent of pediatricians do not follow the protocols, leaving their young patients vulnerable to side effects that can be worse than any benefits. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Adderall can cause blurred vision, seizures, high blood pressure, stunted growth and psychosis. Adderall can cause sudden death in children and adults with heart problems.
The drug is a controlled substance – an amphetamine – and is listed as a Class 2 drug by the DEA because it is highly addictive. Children may resort to violence or suicidal behavior if they don’t receive their medication.
Many doctors, however, don’t believe they have much choice in the matter. School officials want psychologists and psychiatrists to prescribe such drugs as a way to control disruptive children in overcrowded and understaffed schools. Rather than helping a child learn coping mechanisms, schools want a quick fix, say physicians, and that fix is often unsafe psychotropic drugs that can harm children.
Source: DigitalJournal, “Pediatricians admit to prescribing deadly drugs to healthy kids,” by Elliott Freeman, Oct. 15, 2012.