Ritalin and military service

Reply Fri 30 Oct, 2009 07:23 am
I suggest you just call a local recruiter. The drug policy is not going to be a secret.
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Reply Fri 30 Oct, 2009 07:27 am
Well gosh, Thomas, I don't even know where to start.

The worst story I've heard about it was from A2Ker Montana who was threatened with charges of child abuse for refusing to drug her kid. She ended up moving to Canada to escape it.

When my friend K's son was in grade school she was told he needed to be tested for ADD -- which she knew he didn't have. She took out the school phone directory and started calling the parents of all the boys at the school. An overwhelming majority of them had been referred to doctors for diagnosis.

It was such a huge problem that my state passed an emergency law saying teachers were not allowed to discuss ADD and medication with parents; they could discuss behavior but they could no longer "diagnose".

That didn't stop them. Now they say "I'm a teacher, not a doctor. I can't diagnose but I think your child needs to be tested for ADD."

Many of Mo's friends have been referred and several are now on medication.

I'm not exactly sure how it works but I do know the schools get extra funds for each child labeled with some kind of disability. There is a financial incentive. I'd love to see the Freakonomics guys take this one on.

Despite doing everything they've asked of me re: testing, I returned with a diagnosis that wasn't ADD. Now they insist that diagnosis is faulty. Their tactic is emotional blackmail insisting that we're doing Mo a disservice by not drugging him anyway.
Reply Fri 30 Oct, 2009 07:43 am
dadpad, I'm printing out that article to take in with me.

As I've taken them information sent to my by dlowan several times in the past I'm sure they're going to wonder what my connection to Australia is!
Reply Fri 30 Oct, 2009 08:39 am
boomer, if I were you I'd take this to the media. You have a diagnosis that
Mo is NOT ADD, and they're still hassling you despite being NO experts in
this field. I think this particular school needs a reprimand from higher up
to stop harassing parents and students into a treatment that is not necessary
in the first place.

Are you sure you want to keep Mo in a school where you receive such
non-compliance and disregard from teachers? Ultimately this reflects on
their behavior towards Mo as well.
Reply Fri 30 Oct, 2009 09:08 am
It's not just this school. It started at his last school. My friend's kid went to a different school.

I'll wager your public school district has the same thing going on. It's really epidemic.

One of the big problems is that parents are all too often complicit in the decision. They trust the teachers and the doctors. It makes their life easier to drug their kids too.

Seriously, you're made to believe that you're a bad parent for not accepting the school's "diagnosis".
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Reply Fri 30 Oct, 2009 09:42 am
My son's diagnosis of ADD (at age 8) was made after consultations between his pediatrician and a psychologist from his elementary school. The pediatrician had been seeing my son since he was a newborn (in fact she was the one who did the newborn check and release from the hospital). The pediatrician prescribed and monitored the Ritalin until she tapered him off from it at ages 13-14. If a parent has a trusted pediatrician who knows the child well, they can feel safe about Ritalin use.
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Reply Fri 30 Oct, 2009 10:36 am

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Reply Fri 30 Oct, 2009 05:55 pm
ADHD drugs 'made 30 children suicidal'
October 13, 2009


The number of serious reactions to ADHD drugs has doubled in a three-year period, according to Therapeutic Goods Administration figures published by News Ltd.
Acting opposition health spokesman Mathias Cormann says Health Minister Nicola Roxon has sat on her hands for almost two years.

His comments follow reports 30 children have wanted to kill themselves while on drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children Referencesthat may prove usefull.

1. Froehlich TE, Lanphear BP, Epstein JN, Barbaresi WJ, Katusic SK, Kahn RS. Prevalence, recognition, and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in a national sample of US children. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007; 161(9): 857-64.
2. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), NIH Publication No 3572 [online]. National Institutes of Health. 3 April 2008 [cited 24 December 2008]. Available from URL: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/ health/ publications/ adhd/ complete-publication.shtml
3. The Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Paediatrics & Child Health Division. Medication management for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: A brief guide for parents and non health professionals [online]. 10 July 2006 [cited 24 December 2008]. Available from URL: http://www.racp.edu.au/ download.cfm? DownloadFile=A42E4854-2A57-5487-D55F099B361E98A2
4. Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network. Attention deficit and hyperkinetic disorders in children and young people: A national clinical guidline [online]. 29 June 2001 [cited 24 December 2008]. Available from URL: http://www.sign.ac.uk/ pdf/ sign52.pdf
5. NSW Health pharmaceutical Services Branch. Criteria for diagnosis and management of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents [online]. NSW Health. 1 February 2008 [cited 24 December 2008]. Available from URL: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/ resources/ publichealth/ pharmaceutical/ adhd_criteria_child.asp
6. Polanczyk G,de Lima MS,Horta BL, Biederman J, Rohde LA. The worldwide prevalence of ADHD: A systematic review and metaregression analysis. Am J Psych. 2007; 164(6): 942-8.
7. Sawyer MG, Kosky RJ, Graetz BW, Arney F, Zubrick SR, Baghurst P. The National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: The child and adolescent component. Aust NZ J Psych. 2000; 34(2): 214-20.
8. Clinical Excellence Commission. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adults in New South Wales 2007: Final report of the special review [online]. 2 May 2008 [cited 24 December 2008]. Available from URL: http://www.cec.health.nsw.gov.au/ pdf/ specialreports/ adhd_080211.pdf
9. Buckmaster L. Research brief no. 2 200405: Medication for attention/deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): An analysis by Federal Electorate (200103). Australian Parliamentary Library. 16 November 2004. [cited 21 September 2009]. Available from URL: http://www.aph.gov.au/ library/ pubs/ RB/ 2004-05/ 05rb02.htm
10. Faraone SV, Perlis RH, Doyle AE, Smoller JW, Goralnick JJ, Holmgren MA, et al. Molecular genetics of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Biol Psychiatry. 2005; 57(11): 1313-23.
11. Wallis D, Russell HF, Muenke M. Review: Genetics of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. J Pediatr Psychol. 2008; 33(10): 1085-99.
12. Larsson H, Lichtenstein P, Larsson JO. Genetic contributions to the development of ADHD subtypes from childhood to adolescence. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2006; 45(8): 973-81.
13. Lowe N, Kirley A, Hawi Z, Sham P, Wickham H, Kratochvil CJ, et al. Joint analysis of the DRD5 marker concludes association with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder confined to the predominantly inattentive and combined subtypes. Am J Hum Genet. 2004; 74(2): 348-56.
14. Smalley SL, McCracken J, McGough J. Refining the ADHD phenotype using affected sibling pair families. Am J Med Genet. 2001; 105(1): 31-3.
15. Gerring JP, Brady KD, Chen A, Vasa R, Grados M, Bandeen-Roche KJ, et al. Premorbid prevalence of ADHD and development of secondary ADHD after closed head injury. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1998; 37(6): 647-54.
16. Sowell ER, Thompson PM, WelcomeSE, Henkenius AL, Toga AW, Peterson BS. Cortical abnormalities in children and adolescents with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Lancet. 2003; 362: 1699-707.
17. Swain A, Soutter V, Loblay R, Truswell AS. Salicylates, oligoantigenic diets and behaviour. Lancet. 1985; 2: 41-2.
18. Konofal E, Lecendreux M, Arnulf I, Mouren M. Iron deficiency in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2004; 158(12): 1113-5.
19. Brown TE. Executive functions and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Implications of two conflicting views. Int J Disabil Develop Edu. 2006; 53(1): 35-46.
20. Pliszka S. Practice parameter for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2007; 46(7): 894-921.
21. Faraone SV. Advances in the genetics and neurobiology of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Biol Psychiatry. 2006; 60(10):1025-7.
22. Kieling C, Goncalves RR, Tannock R, Castellanos FX. Neurobiology of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2008; 17(2): 285-307, viii.
23. Burks HF. Burks' Behavior Rating Scale: Manual. Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services; 1996.
24. Conners CK, Sitarenios G, Parker JDA, Epstein JN. The revised Conner's Parent Rating Scale (CPRS-R): Factor structure, reliability and criterion validity. J Abnorm Child Psych. 1998; 26(4): 257-68.
25. Lubar JF, Swartwood MO, Swartwood JN, O'Donnell PH. Evaluation of the effectiveness of EEG neurofeedback training for ADHD in a clinical setting as measured by changes in T.O.V.A. scores, behavioral ratings, and WISC-R performance. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 1995; 20(1): 83-99.

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Reply Fri 30 Oct, 2009 10:26 pm
Massachusetts General Hospital has one of the finest learning disorders units in the US. I don't know what kind of insurance Boomer has, but a trip to Boston with Mo to have him tested would resolve the issue.
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High Seas
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 12:37 pm
roger wrote:

Funny how standards change when you need more troops.

They also change whenever Congress decides to legislate medical care - though the Sec. Def. can waive these conditions for "meritorious cases":
Persons Disqualified From Being Granted Security Clearances." A person is described in this subsection if any of the following applies to that person:
"(1) The person has been convicted in any court of the United States of a crime and sentenced to imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.
"(2) The person is an unlawful user of or is addicted to, a controlled substance (asdefined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802)).
"(3) The person is mentally incompetent, as determined by a mental health professional approved by the Department of Defense.
"(4) The person has been discharged or dismissed from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions.
Reply Tue 3 Nov, 2009 04:38 pm
@High Seas,
Soooo.... I'm guessing that by their definition of addict:

(1) The term "addict" means any individual who habitually uses any narcotic drug so as to endanger the public morals, health, safety, or welfare, or who is so far addicted to the use of narcotic drugs as to have lost the power of self-control with reference to his addiction.

and the distinction between "unlawful use" and "addiction" that they could deny someone wanting to join the military.

I hadn't thought of security clearnaces. That certainly affects more than just the military.
High Seas
Reply Tue 3 Nov, 2009 06:35 pm
boomerang wrote:
......I hadn't thought of security clearnaces. That certainly affects more than just the military.

It certainly does - hundreds of thousands of senior positions in high-tech companies require at least some relative "all-clear", as in filling in a form and getting the process started. And beware of publicity in any argument you have with the school - these records are about as public as communications in the form of PR releases to the local media. Finally, in lots of other jobs, i.e. not necessarily high-tech, and not related to the armed services, any prior "psychiatric diagnosis" especially one involving long-term administration of prescription medications (like the excerpt of the law you just quoted that means Ritalin and anything similarly defined as "addictive"), is quite simply the kiss of death. Ask any professional in any of these fields, he'll confirm this. In brief: unless the alternative is hospitalization or prison (fortunately not applicable here) just don't do it.
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2009 12:23 am
Children on antipsychotic drugs more prone to diabetes: Canadian study.
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Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2009 07:21 am
@High Seas,
damnit, I really hate it when I agree with Helen.
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Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2009 08:34 am
K's first grade teacher "diagnosed" K with ADD and told me we should consider Ritalin. I told her she was wrong, that K was highly anxious and Ritalin was not something I would consider for a 5 year old suffering with anxieties. It was a tough year because I refused to play along.
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Tai Chi
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2009 08:42 am
Thought some of you might find this article from Saturday's Globe and Mail interesting:


(Not just about brainpower -- it touches on concentration and behaviour issues too.)

(You were playing basketball before school with Mo, weren't you Boom? Seems you were on the right track.)
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