A 2010 Australian study found that in the long run, ADHD drugs are not effective and in fact can actually harm academic performance. This long-term study casts serious skepticism on the positive aspects associated with applying stimulant medicine to remedy Attention Deficit and hyperactive children.
Researchers at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Australia found that children prescribed stimulant drugs to treat their hyperactivity and attentional issues were found to be 10 times more likely to be identified as performing below age-level when compared to ADHD children who never used stimulant medication.
Researchers also found that prescription ADHD medicines do not enhance social or emotional well-being, as was previously believed. When studying 14-year-old ADHD children, researchers observed no significant disparities in depression, self-perception, and social-functioning based on medication-use. Analysts actually noted a small increase in depression in those treated with stimulant ADHD medications but it was not a statistically significant increase. They also noted a slight decrease in self-esteem in those treated with ADHD medications.
This study included 131 children from the ages of 5 to 14. The results of this study surprised researchers. A number of studies suggest that prescription medication treatment helps behavior and performance in the classroom. To discover that, in the long run, the outcomes were not significantly different was unexpected.
Parents are often reluctant to give your children drugs to treat attentional difficulties. Stimulant ADHD drugs are amphetamine-based and have been shown to increase the risk of stroke and cardiovascular problems in a small percent of people using these drugs. Additionally, side effects like insomnia, weight changes and stomach issues are common.
However, parents often fear that their child will suffer if not treated with pharmaceutical stimulants. By showing that children will fare equally well with or without stimulant medications, this study should ease parents’ minds if they choose to use natural, non-drug methods.