The NYT ran an article the other day about ADD/ADHD. It starts like this:
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.”
Dr. Anderson is one of the more outspoken proponents of an idea that is gaining interest among some physicians. They are prescribing stimulants to struggling students in schools starved of extra money — not to treat A.D.H.D., necessarily, but to boost their academic performance.
The rest of the article is here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/09/health/attention-disorder-or-not-children-prescribed-pills-to-help-in-school.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20121009&pagewanted=all&_r=1&
The comments are really interesting, too.
How is this any different than an athlete using steroids?
Do you see a day when kids will be drug tested in order to receive scholarships or compete in spelling bees? Will there be "doping" scandals in university admissions?
Is Dr. Anderson a "social justice thinker" who is "just trying to even the scales" or is he a drug dealer?
Is it okay to diagnose a mental illness just so a kid gets better grades?
I'm not just blaming doctors. I have a friend who is a psychiatrist and she tells me about parents begging for drugs for their kids.
What do you think about the "cosmetic" use of stimulants?