News Flash: 4.5 Million Children Forced Daily by “Caretakers” to Do Cocaine-like Drugs 


Before we get to the meat and potatoes documenting how this headline is not only shocking but also accurate, you must know that a secondary goal of this blog is to test a few theories. I have been pondering these theories because it seems to be a mystery as to why (after more than two decades of whistleblowers warning the public) so many adults have not heard or heeded the news that ADHD stimulant drugs, which are not that different from cocaine, are extremely dangerous for kids.

One of the theories is to explore if shocking headlines are still effective in catching our attention, or have we grown desensitized? My other theory is that no matter what the headline, most would rather watch YouTube videos on their smart phones, tablets or computers on the subject rather than read the details. So in order to test these theories, I have created a few animated short videos that basically share the same information as this blog. Rest assured I will keep a close eye on the view counts of both this blog and the videos for the next week or so, and get back to you on the results.

But for this little informal online study to work, I’m going to need your help.

I am hoping that after reading this short blog, you will watch the new animated videos I have created for my Debunking ADHD YouTube Video Series. Then, as part of this social experiment and using the headline above, share this blog and the video links below via email and social media with friends and contacts. Let’s see if the headline works and which form of media gets more attention. Let’s see if we can get a Video Enhanced Blog from to go viral. Let’s see if we can help these 4.5 million kids being drugged for ADHD enjoy a childhood free from force-fed cocaine-like drugs.

So for those of you that found the headline of interest but just prefer to watch videos, please watch the videos below to get started:

Debunking ADHD: 10 Reasons to Stop Drugging Kids for Acting like Kids Part One…The Logic

Debunking ADHD: 10 Reasons to Stop Drugging Kids for Acting like Kids Part Two… The Reasons

But if you are one who also likes to read . . . well here you go.

For about a decade, I have closely monitored and researched the ADHD movement. My passion for such efforts is energized by my desire to help more than 4.5 million kids in the USA (currently being drugged for ADHD) salvage a childhood plagued by forced medication in the name of a delusional diagnosis that only reflects normal childhood behaviors. I have spent countless hours reading more biased, poorly designed, and ghostwritten pharmaceutical “research” than any academician should ever be exposed to. Sadly, a great amount of this pseudo and sometimes deceptive research has been created for quite some time by Madison Avenue marketing gurus that the not-so-family-friendly ADHD arm of the pharmaceutical industry has paid to produce. And as if paying for the creation of bogus research is not bad enough, they then coerce, pay or “incentivize” once respected doctors and professors (aka “experts”) to sign on as authors willing to publish and endorse the research. And yet still, after decades of such shady practices that theoretically should produce substantive results, they have no conclusive evidence of ADHD’s cause, no reliable or valid way to document its existence, or definitive proof their drugs are safe for short or long term use by children.

I have come to the conclusion the strongest evidence the Pro-ADHD cheerleaders have is acting like no evidence exists to show they are wrong.

They make such claims of awesomeness despite the fact that a respectful amount of research performed on lab animals documents how short-term use of ADHD drugs’ cause detrimental effects to the brain (Note: Chapter 3 in my new book, Debunking ADHD, shares numerous studies). Even with endless studies for decades showing the harmful long term effects of such stimulant drugs (e.g., Robinson & Kolb, 1997;Wang et al., 1994), they still claim and act as if they do not know how the drugs affect a child’s brain. Despite the endless list of potential life-threatening side effects documented in their drugs’ medication guides published by the FDA, they still want you to believe the drugs are safe for kids. Conveniently, in an effort to continue the farce of dangerously drugging kids for acting like kids, they just ignore evidence and continue to act as if their billion dollar operations pushing pills to the populace are some sort of humanitarian oasis for parents. As the saying goes, “Ignorance is Bli$$!”

There have been many brave and caring souls before me that have warned the public of the insanity behind this supposed mental disorder and the drugs prescribed. But for some strange reason, or possibly due to the brilliance of the Madison Avenue marketing gurus, for decades these voices of reason have not been heard by the masses. For some strange reason, the media has not made this legal drug ring’s efforts a headline story. In the words of the philosopher Will Ferrell, “It’s mind-bottling!”

Now studies have shown that ADHD stimulant medication has basically the same effect on a child’s brain as cocaine. The stimulants, similar to cocaine, take over the neurochemicals in our prefrontal cortex that guide how we think and behave. This cognitive coup is accomplished by the stimulants reducing the blood flow and nutrients being sent to the brain by 23-30%. Imagine your local reservoir trying to provide water to your community when only 2/3 full. The impact of the stimulants causes the brain to micro-hemorrhage (bleed) (Ellinwood & Tong, 1996), and research shows such effects can cause more than 50% of the users to develop drug-induced Obsessive Compulsive Disorders. In other words, what some want to sell you is a sign of the drugs helping a child to be less spontaneous, less hyper, and more likely to only focus on one thing (e.g., more worksheets to teach the answers to standardized tests), is actually reflective of the mind being medicated to malfunction daily for the rest of their childhood.

Yet despite science showing the debilitating effects of ADHD drugs, you only read a few headlines in mainstream media today (e.g., Alan Schwarz at New York Times), and rarely do you see an honest discussion about such drug crimes during primetime viewing hours or on the 24-hour news networks. But what if the headline read, “4.5 Million Children Forced Daily by “Caretakers” to Do Cocaine-like Drugs”? Do you think this would be enough to get the media to pay attention and help those of us on the rational and logical side of the ADHD debate actually share such facts with parents who need to know the truth? Or does the fact that what they are feeding kids is somehow legal make everything politically correct? Even if Alan Schwarz recent piece on more than 10,000 toddlers ages 2-3 years old being drugged for ADHD garnered some good traction in social media and a few mentions on news networks, it was not enough.

Where is the outcry, beyond a few dedicated websites and blogs, to put an end to this pediatric practice? Could it be as one of my insightful blog readers pointed out, that the media doesn’t want to touch the topic because they do not want to lose the millions of dollars the pharmaceutical industry spends in advertising with their networks? Could it be that many adults are just looking for the quick easy fix to child behavior and academic issues, and unconsciously tune out such conflicting information? And rightly so, no one wants to find out they have been duped. No one wants to find out they have drugged their children based upon false information.

Or could it be that we all suffer to some extent from the All Do Have Disorder, and have troubles paying attention to what is truly important? Or could it be that we are just too busy to actually read the facts? To keep my sanity, I am going to assume it is just the latter of these reasons. Using my intuition and decade or so of being a professor, and realizing only a small percentage of students actually read what is assigned, I am just going to assume that most adults do not like to read. I am going to assume that with today’s technology and social networking sites, it’s just easier to click and watch it on the screen in front of you. So instead of writing any more words, I would like to urge you now to watch the two short animated videos I have created. Hopefully, these videos are succinct, informative and entertaining enough to help debunk the diagnosis of ADHD, and get adults to stop drugging kids for acting like kids.

I sincerely hope you take the time to watch these videos. I tried to make them informative, witty and visually pleasing. But most of all I hope you take the time to share the links of this blog and the videos with parents, educators, mental health practitioners and other caring adults, that need to hear that drugging kids for ADHD might just be a very bad idea.

Our kids deserve nothing less.


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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  1. Focalin and Dexadrine are way better than cocaine. Ritalin feels like cocaine to the person taking it but looks like a sedative to observers (only it lasts longer and gives the illusion of smarts).

    Methylphenidate feels more like coke than the amphetamine stimulants for sure.

    That new stuff Vyvance is nasty , that delivery system is flawed. It comes on slow and then rises past the feel good point like you drank 12 cups of coffee along with it then it’s O.K for a bit before the extended crash sets in where your still feeling the stuff but only the jittery anxiety depressed part not the focus as it does its thing for 12-14 hours swimming around your bloodstream. If you take less to avoid the unpleasant peak it doesn’t have the focus effect at all, you just feel icky half way there for several hours.

    Shire calls Vyvance new and improved , not the first time the drug companies have lied to us to make a billion or two off a new patent.

    The worst part is the crash from this stuff, just drink 7 or 8 cups of coffee and you will get an idea of what that unfocused stimulation that lingers during the crash feels like.

    Or adjust for body weight take a dose of your kids pills yourself.

    What’s the biggest myth ever ? People with ADHD don’t get high from the “meds” , I feel like a rat saying that but it’s true.

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    • “Or adjust for body weight take a dose of your kids pills yourself.”
      Amphetamines were used for losing weight before everyone realised just how dangerous they are – it even made it to popular culture, just watch “Requiem for a dream” and follow mother’s storyline. It’s not a secret that they can cause psychosis but hey, if some kids get “crazy” on them they will get a bipolar diagnosis and more drugs – the more the merrier (for the pharmaceutical industry). No one who is on ADHD drugs should ever be given a diagnosis based on psychotic symptoms, the same goes for pot etc. but I don’t think it stopped many psychiatrists from doing exactly that.
      I wonder how many people realise what they really putting their children on. I mean would they be so keen to drug their kids if doctors told them: “I’ll prescribe Johnny a daily amphetamine pill”? But put a brand name on it and it magically becomes a wonder drug, safe and effective. Insanity…

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    • Ritalin gives the illusion of smarts. What does that look like? You mean unintelligent kids can fake being smart with speed? Very interesting. How? Does it make them better actors? How do you know they aren’t functioning with more intelligence and on grade?

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  2. Despite the fact that many experts with a conscience have deplored the use of not only kiddie cocaine like bogus ADHD drugs and the horrific brain/body damaging neuroleptics now forced on children and toddlers no less for both bogus ADHD and bipolar thanks to the evil Dr. Joseph Biederman working a s paid shill for Big Pharma to create the new child bipolar epidemic, our illustrious head of the NIMH, Dr. Thomas Insel, has just written a blog to address/justify this horrific monstrosity perpetrated against our nation’s children with much protest and outrage by those with a conscience including Bob Whitaker and many noble people cited by Insel to refute them:

    Given Dr. Insel’s role in pushing the horrible bogus biopsychiatry DSM paradigm of “mental illness” and this latest predation on our nation’s children, I believe he has a serious character disorder of malignant narcissism or psychopathy that would allow him to advocate for the destruction of so many citizens with the lastest predation on our nation’s children. I feel nothing but contempt and disgust for this latest disease mongering, justification and pretense that bogus DSM stigmas voted in with Big Pharma to push the latest lethal drugs and other treatments on patent on as many as possible without informed consent with the pretense that this explosion of such bogus mental death stigmas are equivalent to that of diabetes or real illness though both probably have their roots in the growing power of the 1% that have ensured the worst massive inequality, injustice, oppression, poverty and social evils in our country since its inception. That those like Dr. Insel aid and abet such predation on vulnerable people makes him an enemy of the people.

    What makes Insel’s justification for this nightmare over drugging of children all the more despicable is that Insel himself has admitted that DSM stigmas are invalid and that the toxic drugs used to “treat” psychosis, depression and other so called disorders often lack efficacy and cause great harm for many people. Thus, for this so called head of the nation’s National Institute For Mental Health to justify this evil monstrosity and war against our nation’s children for greed, profit and power shows that our government is truly a corrupt, totalitarian, deadly establishment enthralled with its own evil power and corporate cronyism while destroying the rest of our country and humanity in the process.

    You have cited Dr. Baughman, Neurologist, as protesting the fraud of ADHD, but he has also protested the fraud of the bipolar and other child epidemics as he has realized this growing assault on children to push the horrific neuroleptics and so called mood stabilizers on the very lucrative market of children no less!

    Even Dr. Phil has now spoken before Congress against the horrible over drugging of children with Medicaid and in the foster care and other government systems for children while advocating for more funds for psychotherapy for life problems/crises these children suffer rather than covering them up/suppressing them with drugs while causing more harm. I am very impressed that Dr. Phil would do that though I know he’s never been a great fan of the DSM/drugging enterprise.

    It’s obvious these people have no conscience that they could advocate lethal drugs known to cause brain damage, destroyed health and early death by an average of about 25 years in adults to destroy the lives of children even more quickly and completely. To allow this to happen shows our nation and its leaders have lost their moral compass if they ever had one.

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    • Re: Pharma to create the new child bipolar epidemic.

      The ‘side’ effects of stimulants are exactly the same as ‘symptoms of bipolar’ but all logic stops there, just read any of those forums where the parents talk about there kids so called mental illness, the drugging never stops no matter how much worse their kids get. I goes like this: My child was never helped and has only gotten worse since starting medication so you should do the same thing I am doing and keep trying to “find the right meds” even though if you read all the posts over the years no one ever finds them but keep trying no matter what. They call it “supporting” each other.

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    • ADHD drugs cause psychosis – one doesn’t need a doctor to explain that, just ask any meth/amphetamine addict out there. Maybe they should ask some of these people to testify about the drugs in Congress…
      Or maybe they should be putting warning pictures from this article on the drug boxes:
      They have warnings on tobacco packages so that wouldn’t be without precedent.
      US drug policy is truly ridiculous.

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  3. Here is source of Dr. Phil protesting toxic use of child drugging in foster care:

    Dr. Phil analyses foster care: The celebrity psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw told lawmakers the foster care system was broken, saying children were being overprescribing psychotropic drugs.

    He argued the government should spend more money to pay for psychotherapists to treat foster children with emotional problems instead of trying to mask the issue by overprescribing drugs they may become addicted to.

    McGraw was on Capitol Hill to promote and seek more funding for a new partnership with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to help states and tribal governments improve care for foster children.

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  4. As I said above, those fighting against the bogus ADHD epidemic and toxic kiddie cocaine should also fight the huge increase in presciptions for toxic neuroleptics for children and toddlers for ADHD, bipolar and other bogus, voted in DSM stigmas created with Big Pharma to push the latest lethal drugs on patent. Dr. Fred Baughman realized that the bogus bipolar epidemic in children needed to be fought after he wrote his great book ADHD Fraud. Many children are given toxic cocktails both many of these poison drugs for maximum disability!

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  5. Unfortunately I can not hear the audio in the videos much at all even though I have my computer hooked to my 600-watt stereo and it’s quite loud. Maybe the computer you made the video on had loudness equalization that automatically adjusts everything you listen to too the same volume. When I’m creating and/or mixing audio on a computer I make sure that every feature on my computers sound card is off, including the EQ.

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  6. If the monkey can’t see it (as a danger) , it doesn’t exist.

    Asbestos, The first diagnosis of asbestosis was made in the UK in 1924

    Lead poisoning from gasoline, stopped 1993-1995

    Radium, a half-life of 1600 years, painted on watches and clocks.
    June 02, 2014 “Dumped radioactive pollution concealed for 18 months”

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  7. May I ask yet again: what role do parents and governments play in this ADHD epidemic, and our society in general. Parents are often more bothered about their career than their offspring. Mothers who want to stay at home and bring up their children are laughed at and put down….Often there is no place where children can safely let of steam…Sure, psychiatrists are a right pain but why is there such a demand for those drugs?

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    • I hate to say it but the first urges to drug children come from the teachers, who generally have excessive class sizes and can’t handle the active children. So the notion is planted by them, much of the time, often accompanied by actual or implied threats to involve CPS (Child Protection Service). Parents who are faced with a CPS visit become very compliant, very quickly. It’s an odious way to get children drugged, but that is the reality all over this country. And the teachers should, but do not know better. They are taught to respond in this manner.

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      • Please backup these damming accusations against teachers and parents.

        Teachers are taught to threaten parents with intervention by CPS IF they won’t drug their children.

        CPS is a participant in the ADHD conspiracy?

        They can’t handle the active kids.

        Active kids is not ADHD.

        Parents threatened with a CPS visit comply very quickly.

        Do you have documentation that this has happened once?

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  8. I am very sad to say but it is the same difficulties in Sweden, if not worse to get the word out. Media does not publish critical articles and are absoultely unwilling to publish debate articles as I have tried for ages. It is nothing but a big shame for a society and especially for the so called professionals who do not take a stance and tell about what is going on.

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    • Of course the media has little to say about the epidemic of child drugging, because after reporting it, taking station breaks for advertisements for antidepressants and sedatives might give big media editors and producers indigestion, since their very existence depends on pharmaceutical company sponsorship.

      Focusing on the industry’s marketing practices, media scholars and health professionals help viewers understand the ways in which direct-to-consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical advertising glamorizes and normalizes the use of prescription medication, and works in tandem with promotion to doctors.

      Here is how that works

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  9. loved the videos! i posted them on my fb page this morning. i’m hoping friends/relatives of mine who need to see them will see them. ty!!

    quick note- i think there’s a typo in the still that comes up- does the child breath- i think it’s breathe.

    well done, keep them coming…

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  10. Honestly, I wonder how much this ADHD “epidemic” is fueled by social factors at home and in school that have nothing to do with kids. I mean there is a huge difference in the attitude of a teacher who has to deal with 20 kids or 40 kids at the same time. There is a difference if the school day is 5h or 10h. There is a difference if the parents work 2 jobs and come home exhausted and irritated or if they work 40h a week and have paid holidays. There is even a difference if there are multigenerational families where grandparents can take care of kids and give parents some time off.
    It’s not all that surprising that people caring for kids need a break and the only way today’s society offers it is by drugging the kids.

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    • Just one suggestion to the video: I think it’s better when the audio and the text on the video agree – I find it often very distracting if I hear one thing and read the other. I’d not flash text and say something different at the same time… Else: good job.

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  11. I’m sorry, but comparing stimulant medications like ritalin, a NDRI to cocaine, a powerful SNDRI is a fine example of sensationalist journalism. They work on different pathways and cocaine has a far greater effect on mood, potential for addiction, derogatory effects and is, well, illegal. With documented research out there showing a strong correlation between untreated ADHD and the future development of co morbid disorders and increased risk of substance abuse I must object to demonizing a medication that has great potential to help, especially under the close observation of a psychiatrist. Dosage adjustments are extremely important, and more often than not, are never done as a result of primary care physicians not knowing their place and writing prescriptions for medications best given to a patient seeing a specialist. If you’re looking for a problem with the way society deals with ADHD, I would highly suggest taking a look at who is writing the prescriptions, not just the drug being prescribed.

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  12. Please include links from reliable sources showing research that implicates ADHD medication has the same detrimental effects as street meth when taken at reasonable dosages. Additionally, I would like to see the author’s sources backing up his accusations that these medications are extremely dangerous, as well as concrete evidence that ADHD is a fabricated disorder. Until I see these things I’m of the opinion that articles like this are socially irresponsible in that it fans the flames of doubt that burn in the minds of parents who need to make a choice. These medications help improve quality of life, something I will attest to. The inability to focus is not behavioral in nature when it comes to ADHD, but rather a malfunction in the reward center of the brain, and can be crippling, especially as an adult with responsibilities.

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    • candrea,

      From the Drug Enforcement Agency:

      “There is no diagnostic test that can confirm an ADHD diagnosis.”…

      … “Biochemically, methylphenidate enhances the release and blocks the reuptake of dopamine (DA) and norepinephrine (NE) in mammalian brain. Pharmacologically methylphenidate is most closely related to cocaine. In human subjects, methylphenidate binds to the same receptor sites as cocaine in the brain and produces effects that are indistinguishable from cocaine.”

      More from the DEA here:

      I hate to be the bearer of bad news.

      The story of ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson:

      After the White Sox lost the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds, Jackson and several other White Sox players were accused of accepting cash to throw the Series.

      A grand jury was convened to investigate… Jackson left the criminal court building, and found a bunch of kids waiting for him…

      One yelled out, “Say it ain’t so.”
      Shoeless Joe responded sadly, “Yes kid, I’m afraid it is.”

      Psychiatric drug withdrawal resources and communities here:


      Report comment

    • 1. “ADHD medication has the same detrimental effects as street meth when taken at reasonable dosages”

      ADHD drugs ARE meth (or amphetamine or analogous chemicals) so they will have the same effect as street meth if that one’s reasonably pure. There is no difference if the same chemical substance comes to you in a small plastic bag from a dealer or in a pill form from a pharmacy. It’s the same freaking substance.
      Here you go (from Wikipedia but you can doublecheck with drug labels):
      – pharmaceutical amphetamine is typically prescribed as Adderall
      – Methylphenidate (trade names Concerta, Methylin, Ritalin, Equasym XL) is a substituted phenethylamine
      – Methamphetamine[note 1] (pronunciation: /ˌmɛθæmˈfɛtəmiːn/; contracted from N-methyl-alpha-methylphenethylamine) is a neurotoxin and potent psychostimulant of the phenethylamine and amphetamine classes that is used as a recreational drug and, rarely, to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obesity.

      These are all drugs from the same class and some popular ADHD drugs are in fact pure amphetamine, others pure meth (Desoxyn) or chemically related components (substituted amphetamines and phenethylamines)

      For the short and long term detrimental effects of these drugs you can consult the drug labels, medical literature and data on substance abuse. I may just add that one of the best described side effects of amphetamines is psychosis.

      2. “These medications help improve quality of life, something I will attest to.”
      So will a number of students who go to the doctors office pretending they have ADHD and getting these drugs in order to help them concentrate before exams. These drugs have exactly the same effect on “normal” vs “ADHD” people and I challenge you to find one scientific study showing a different response because I have so far failed to do so. I hear this nonsense of “ADHD people respond differently to ADHD drugs” all the time and I have not seen a single actual study to back it up and a lot of anecdotal evidence to the contrary.

      3. “The inability to focus is not behavioral in nature when it comes to ADHD, but rather a malfunction in the reward center of the brain”
      There are plenty of theories floating around, mostly based on some behavioural task plus fMRI but so far every study shows something else. So far the etiology is largely speculative and none of them has been widely accepted, nor has anyone been used to reliably predict ADHD in people. You can show anything you like in terms of neural activity correlating with certain behaviour or internal state it’s not the same as showing any causative or explanatory link.
      Btw, there is actual evidence showing that these drugs don’t actually help people to get better results from their work long-term and the perceived improvement may be more likely linked to “calmer behaviour” on one hand and subjective impression that one is doing better not linked to actual objective assessment. Here’s an article that discusses some of the problems:

      4. “evidence that ADHD is a fabricated disorder”
      Two things here: first of all, are there kids which can be described as hyperactive in certain situations? Certainly there are but there are dozens of possible reasons for it. The current practice of diagnosing ADHD is based on a list of symptoms which are a) subjective (what exactly is too active?) b) context-independent (the doctor is not observing the kid in all different contexts, is usually related to problems at school) c) don’t include differential diagnosis. In some places you get 20-25% of boys diagnosed with ADHD. You have high rates of ADHD in foster kids or kids who were born in months close to school year (youngest in class). That shows clearly that the diagnosis of ADHD based on behavioural symptoms is bs and completely unreliable.

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    • Maybe they improved your particular quality of life but they do terrible damage to kids over an extended period of time. Too many people are true believes in the message of the drug companies and psychiatry to stand up and begin thinking for themselves about all this. I wouldn’t think that stunted growth and smaller brains can be called an improvement in the quality of life. And, it’s been proven that over time these drugs do not do anything to help cure the problem that they’re given for.

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  13. Candreae

    You are placing the responsibility for proof in the wrong hands.

    If some one tells us that there is a purple zebra present in the room but it cannot be seen with the naked eye, it is NOT OUR responsibility to prove that the alleged purple zebra does not exist in the real world.

    The alleged existence of the purple zebra, in this case, is the equivalent of the alleged brain “disease” called ADHD. The onus for proof lies with Biological Psychiatry (and those that defend it) to justify the mass drugging of children and adults for a so-called disease that has no proof of existence.

    Difficulty focusing, concentrating, and being able to sit still for extended periods of time has many environmental explanations that have nothing to do with unproven “chemical imbalances” or so-called problems with brain structure.

    Direct trauma or observance of trauma, emotional neglect, food chemicals and other environmental toxins, as well as, just being a very active child or adult in a very stressful world, all have some direct connections to the symptoms that get labeled as ADHD.

    So Candreae, where is the definitive proof that ADHD exists? YOU SHOW US THE EVIDENCE!

    And as for the detrimental effects of the stimulant drugs being handed out like candy by psychiatrists and other doctors, just put in the words “ADHD drugs” in the search above or wait for some of the people here at MIA who have catalogued all these resources to provide you with the links. If you dare to do the research you will soon find out that you have been brain washed and/or perhaps harmed by Biological Psychiatry.

    One last question, are you a doctor?


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    • No Richard, I’m not a doctor. And you’re incorrect about where the burden of proof lies. As the accusatory party, the ones comparing legitimate medications to street drugs and calling disorders that are very, very real, in essence, fairy tales, I believe the ball of explanation lies in your court. But i digress, I see my doctor twice weekly for CBT and medication follow-up, and have been doing so for seven years. It has been a slow journey from the hole I was in before diagnosed…alcoholic, alone, suicidal….

      I admit the process of getting out of the hole has not been fun. The traditional means of treating ADHD with co morbid bipolar I disorder by administering mood stabilizers was not something I found to be anything resembling an improvement in my quality of life. I was as flat as a pancake and felt nothing. With the help of my doctor, under his careful supervision I spent 5 years researching medications, my conditions, and the overall function of the human brain as we know it. I moved one medication at a time, making sure I reached a therapeutic dose before making changes or moving on from a medication. It was a brutal process that had me experiencing mood swings, withdrawal symptoms and downright mental anguish. Accidentally I stumbled across what would eventually lead to my personal hypothesis about my disorder and my current medication regiment. This happened when I couldn’t remember if I had taken my Zoloft for the day, so I took what turned out to be my second dose. I had a great day, so I went back to actually count pills and noted I had doubled my dosage. I wondered why this would make any marked improvement, as depression was not my biggest concern…so why would further reducing serotonin re-uptake improve my mood? Turns out at higher than recommended dosages, Zoloft acts more like a dopamine re-uptake inhibitor and less like an SSRI.

      With this information I went with a running hypothesis that my body/mind, for whatever reason, strips itself of dopamine at an abnormally high rate.We remedied this by adding Wellbutrin, which has the most dopamine reuptake inhibition of any of the SSRIs and Daytrana (Methylphenidate transdermal patch,) to promote dopamine. I have seen a marked improved improvement in my quality of life, and have been able to move forward with my therapy and my life. I went from suicidal shut-in to being a father, small business owner and technology hobbyist that dabbles in car racing….things I never thought possible all those years ago.

      I can see why people would want to circumvent this process…it’s miserable, even when you do it right, and nothing we want to put our children through.

      But it doesn’t need to be so bad. I didn’t start working on my illness until my mid 20’s, which is when bipolar disorder tends to manifest itself. Looking back through my childhood I can now identify the attributes and sensations that separated me from just another excitable kid. They are subtle in nature, but a good doctor can spot them…this is why seeing the primary care physician for ADHD is a terrible idea…he is simply not qualified and most people don’t see him often enough. Everyone is different and one pill does not remedy all walks. Careful, thoughtful prescribing with constant follow-up to mark progress is imperative.

      So there you have it, my testimony and proof that this is real, and the medications help. If you find this insufficient I have included some good articles in a link below. Cheers.

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      • Candreae

        Thank you for sharing your story and giving the readers here a little more understanding where you are coming from with your questions ands criticisms.

        Your own unique and painful journey seems to have led you to some recent progress and temporary stability, but this single story CANNOT be used to draw general or long term conclusions about positive outcomes taking prescribed stimulants, or provide any justification for accepting labels such as “Bipolar 1” or “ADHD.” Your story is still one in progress where the “jury is still out,” so to speak, on where all this will take you as the brain naturally attempts to adjust to the current mind altering drugs you are taking.

        The brain constantly seeks a state of homeostasis and has an inherent tendency to push back against external efforts to manipulate brain chemistry.

        I have worked in community mental health for over 21 years treating people with multiple kinds of addictions. Your brief narrative only tells me that you had a serious addiction to alcohol and related forms of mood swings that often accompany these sort of problems.

        I don’t know if you had childhood experiences that set you up to derive greater relief or pleasure from alcohol based on its ability to provide escape from underlying anxiety or an alternative form of stimulation. The symptoms that get labeled as “Bipolar” are “par for the course” for those repeatedly imbibing high amounts of the drug, ethyl alcohol. This is especially true for those that add cocaine to the mix, which as you probably know is a very common combination.

        I don’t accept the “disease concept” for either addictions or other more extreme psychological reactions to the environment that get labeled as “mental illness.” You can read a more in depth presentation of my position on these questions by reading some my published blogs at MIA (click on “writers” above and search for Richard D. Lewis).

        Ethyl alcohol also disturbs the dopamine system in the brain, sometimes increasing or enhancing its effects in certain parts of the brain, especially the reward centers. It does not surprise me that your affect would have been flat after prolonged misuse of alcohol and then suddenly adopting abstinence (I have assumed that you stopped drinking). This may explain why you experienced temporary benefits from drugs that also stimulated the dopamine system in the brain.

        There are other safer and more natural ways to help the brain and body restore and reestablish equilibrium without perturbing the dopaminergic and serotonergic homeostatic process. Time itself , of course, is necessary, but it requires patience and perhaps a high level of pain tolerance during the recovery phase. Exercise (walking and yoga …), healthy eating, certain supplements, and meditation are almost essential elements.

        The “attributes and sensations” you describe in your childhood that somehow make you different or unique from other children most likely have origins in your own unique environmental experiences and influences. They provide NO “proof” that you have a “disease” that universally proposes that stimulant and/or antidepressant drugs are any solution type of temporary or permanent solution for calming a stressful life in today’s world.

        Candreae, I appreciate you willingness to engage on this website where there is clearly a strong bias against accepting any kind of psychiatric label or the view that psychiatric drugs are some kind of solution to human distress.

        I must point out that we live in a culture of addiction, and it is a very short walk from a life abusing illegal drugs or alcohol and then impatiently looking for legal (mind altering) drugs prescribed by doctors as some kind of quick fix for problems that may have taken years to develop.

        If you review prior blogs on this website and continue to read MIA on a regular basis, I believe (with your openness and inquisitive desire for true knowledge) that you will have your mind blown wide open and eventually find substantive answers and solutions to some of your problems as you continue on your journey. Good skills! (luck will not be enough since there is no proof of its existence). If you stick around I am looking forward to observing your evolution at MIA.


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        • Richard ,
          I have personally experienced severe mental emotional phenomena to a disabling level in the past that I verified much later was in my case caused by mercury poisoning from dental amalgam . Tragically I was captured by the psychiatric dragnet and tortured for years by various of their “Treatments” for various of their “diagnosis “.The S word, then manic depression , then Bi polar depression. They dragged me through Hell . Its a miracle I survived and am alive to write you anything. This journey went from the age of 16 till into my 50’s , till I got 9000 dollars worth of advanced Hal Huggins protocol Dentistry. How many others similar to me caught in this pseudo science meat grinder . My family finally provided the money for me for the dental work.Who will for the others ?
          Somewhere in my research I found that 1 in 6 people have extra trouble excreting mercury from there system . I am med and drug free today , hear no voices no kind of anything debilitating have learned a lot yet it seems few are ready to learn from a survivor with no degree’s and an official high school education with a ton of lived experience . I’m 67 years young. I must know something, Take care, Fred

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  14. That a dangerous, ineffective, addictive poison pushed on an ignorant, lazy, apathetic society as a remedy for the made-up, fictitious, phony, money-making, disease forced on upon us through the creative con-men of deceit and image hustling, and paid for by the organized cartels of drug dealing wall street ceos, may not receive the same reception by some as say birth control medication, may not shock you.

    Aspirin, after all, is more dangerous. That this poisonous concoction of death has aided millions of children and adults A REAL SHOT to live normal, healthy lives is buried, never to be mentioned or whispered about by opponent’s to this snake-oil cocktail of doom.

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  15. Water kills more people in a summer than this deadly potion has harmed, ever. Air is more toxic. Living is far more deadly.

    One small dose of this proven to be safe drug, energizes a crippled human brain and yields the ability for millions of handicapped persons to hear their teacher lecture and comprehend her lesson, when this had been impossible before. A human brain is not perfect. Human brains malfunction. Human brains are extraordinarily complex. Some do not fire on all eight cylinders, all the time.

    This documented condition is rejected by people who oppose the drugging of children. The brain is incapable of failing to work properly always. To them, the brain must, always perform in a manner that handicaps no one, ever. Is that how your brain works? At the same time drugging children with aspirin is fine. The dangerous, lethal drug aspirin draws no fire.

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    • “Water kills more people in a summer than this deadly potion has harmed, ever. Air is more toxic. ”
      Your stats on that?
      Btw, it’s a bs argument – more people die from cancer than murder so it’s OK to allow murderers to do what they do, afterall “living is far more deadly” and we all die in the end.

      I have a friend who identifies as having ADHD and he does not have a “crippled brain”. Nor do most of “ADHD” kids. Some kids with neurodevelopmental conditions or brain damage may also be hyperactive, whatever that may mean, but in and of itself there’s nothing wrong with people “having ADHD” – they are different but not crippled or damaged. It’s offensive to say so.

      “Human brains are extraordinarily complex. Some do not fire on all eight cylinders, all the time.”
      Oh thank you for admitting that. If the brain is so complex how can you fix it with a sledge hammer that is amphetamine? And as for evolution – there’s a reason for variability in human traits and that is the fact we live in a society which needs all different kinds of people with all different kinds of skills. Someone being good academically (whatever that means) does not make him/her better than the person who is very good at making furniture or who enjoys cooking. One can make an argument that toilet cleaners are much more important for society than physics professors and you can easily smell this when they go on strike. We are supposed to be different and forcing people to be identical drones is an abomination.

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    • Excederin,

      I have always acknowledged that people have neurological differences and that brains don’t always fire on all cylinders. I just don’t think they should be drugged with stimulants, particularly when the research shows they aren’t effective, particularly long term.

      And comparing stimulants to aspirin is beyond absurd. Aspiring may cause rare side effects but it doesn’t cause suicidal ideation like stimulants do.


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  16. Excederin,
    you have responded to other threads with similar claims to those you make above and many well-informed people have refuted them with hard evidence and links to current research, yet you persist with your claims at every opportunity and continue to campaign for drugging children who have this fictitious disease.

    I can only suggest that you and anyone else reading and/or wondering about your claims peruse this site and acquaint themselves with the evidence regarding the (lack of ) efficacy and safety of ADHD drugs…ie it has repeatedly been shown that they don’t work and are dangerous!

    Given that you are so passionately concerned about kids being drugged with Aspirin, can I suggest you start a separate campaign/site /petition to the FDA to address your concerns regarding that “dangerous, lethal drug aspirin”, rather than vociferously advocating FOR the drugging of kids with amphetamines?

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  17. Kim, no one on this site has refuted excedrin’s claims, unless you would like to offer evidence to the contrary. Excedrin has asked a number of the posters to define it; tell us exactly what ADHD is. “It is fictitious” isn’t an answer. “It doesn’t exist” is not an answer. Offering an open classroom doesn’t explain what it is. Saying no single test proves it exists, doesn’t present any evidence that it doesn’t.

    I suggest you encourage Drs. Berezin, Corrigan and other professionals, who should be able to state clearly exactly what ADHD is before they try but can’t explain what it isn’t, to listen to scientists and articulate intelligent people with first hand experience with it, to explain it. Then, they can try to explain it away. To see highly educated people dance around trying to circumvent the nitty gritty details of ADHD only harms their cause. Face it in its minutiae, head on. Convince us ADHD is just childish behaviors, nothing more. Go ahead. Don’t give up so easily and pretend it does not exist. Nothing to be afraid of.

    Let me add Kim, perhaps you too should become better versed in this topic, especially if you intend on speaking for others.

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    • It’s not on us to define what we think does not exist. It’s on the people who defend and promote the concept to define it (and they did in the DSM) and we simply think their definition is ridiculous.

      In science you don’t prove that something does not exist. I don’t have to prove non-existence of fairies and flying saucers – I have to provide existence for them. In medicine you don’t assume everyone has cancer until proven not to but you first find evidence for the existence of the disease.

      You have it totally backwards.

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