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William Pelham, Jr., Ph.D., director of the Center for Children and Families at the State University of New York at Buffalo and not involved with the study, said he thought the findings would establish that “from a risk-benefit perspective, there is no justification for using stimulants as a first-line treatment [for ADHD].”

“I believe this study will add substantially to recent papers that establish that stimulant drugs, while useful for a minority of ADHD children when needed as a short-term adjunct to psychosocial treatments, have no long-term effects other than serious side effects,” including growth suppression, sudden death, and substance use, according to a recent article in medpagetoday.com.

Ritalin and other ADHD drugs are very similar chemically to cocaine, which is one reason they are quickly becoming the drug of choice for teens. It is relatively cheap and accessible for them and is more incognito. And since it’s a prescription drug,  they perceive it to be safe. However, if abused by taking at high dosage or by injection or snorting, it can be just as addicting as cocaine, according to the U of U.

“The nonmedical use of prescription stimulants among U.S. college students is now at its highest level in 15 years,” said professor Sean Esteban McCabe of the University of Michigan Substance Abuse Research Center, according to an article in CCT. Most students contacted at UC Berkeley, Stanford, San Francisco State, Sonoma State, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and UC Santa Barbara said Adderall is usually obtained from friends for free or at cheap prices. But some say they have seen people sell the drug to strangers.

Of course, medications are indicated for some, but safer options should be utilized first before putting your child on a drug of this level. At ProActive Chiropractic, we integrate chiropractic care with many lifestyle and nutritional changes to conservatively manage or co-manage ADHD.  For example, too little sleep can increase hyperactive tendencies, according to a study in Sleep described here.