Making Drug Addicts at an Early Age
Children hooked because of disorder label

A study in the August issue of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology suggests that children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are more likely to develop substance abuse issues during adolescence. What’s left out of this article is the fact that the drugs kids are put on to treat the symptoms are highly addictive.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is the agency responsible for the regulation and control of substances with abuse potential that are subject to the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Of the many psychoactive substances prescribed to young children in the United States, only two controlled substances are widely utilized by American physicians to treat children: methylphenidate (commonly known as Ritalin®) and amphetamine (primarily Adderall® and Dexedrine®). Both of these substances are powerful stimulants that have been on Schedule II of the CSA since 1971. Schedule II of the CSA contains those substances that have the highest abuse potential and dependence profile of all drugs that have medical utility.
According to Luke Catton, President of Narconon Arrowhead, “We have seen a significant number of individuals addicted to methamphetamine, cocaine and crack that started out using a drug pushed on them for displaying symptoms that most children have growing up. Unfortunately, millions of kids are being put on these drugs when there are much more effective ways of dealing with learning or behavioral difficulties.”
Narconon Arrowhead is a non-traditional rehabilitation and education program that is highly effective in helping people become drug-free. Based on the research and developments by L. Ron Hubbard, clients going through one of the many Narconon centers around the world actually purge their bodies of the stored drug toxins through a sauna detoxification procedure, thus relieving the individuals of physical cravings.

How it all began

In 1987, members of the American Psychiatric Association voted ADHD to be a mental disorder for inclusion in its Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The same year, Children and Adults With Attention Deficit Disorder (CHADD) was formed. Within a year, 500,000 American children were said to suffer from this "disorder." After a financial boost from pharmaceutical interests, the number of CHADD chapters exploded from 29 to 500 and have recently received more than $700,000 from pharmaceutical companies in 2001 alone.
In 1995, in response to a petition by CHADD and the American Academy of Neurology to lower the regulatory controls on methylphenidate, the DEA conducted an extensive review of the use, abuse liability, actual abuse, diversion, and trafficking of methylphenidate. The CHADD petition characterized methylphenidate as a mild stimulant with little abuse potential - this is not what the review found and the petitioners subsequently withdrew their petition.
The findings concluded that long-term studies looking at the effects of using these drugs are very limited; the medical use of stimulants in the treatment of ADHD in children continues to escalate; the expansive use of these drugs for childhood behavioral disorder in the United States differs significantly from medical practices in the rest of the world (United Nations data) and that poison control data, emergency room data and high school surveys all indicate that the abuse of methylphenidate has increased significantly since 1990.
A number of questionable practices have contributed to the diversion and abuse of stimulant medication including improper diagnosis, lack of adequate information to youth, parents, and schools regarding the abuse potential of these drugs and lax handling of medication (Consensus statement, 1996 DEA Conference).

Fighting Back

As a result of this situation clearly getting out of control, Senator John Ensign (R-NV) introduced legislation designed to end the practice of forcing or coercing the medication of children as a condition of attending school.
The Child Medication Safety Act requires each state to establish policies that prohibit public elementary and secondary school personnel from requiring a child to take medication as a condition of attending school. The introduction of the Senate bill comes in response to mounting public and legislative concern about this issue. Connecticut, Minnesota, Virginia, Illinois, Colorado and Oregon have all passed laws prohibiting the forced drugging of schoolchildren. In 2003, 13 states have introduced similar legislation. On May 21, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Child Medication Safety Act 2003 (HR 1170) by a vote of 425 to one.
“No parent should have to place his or her child on a drug that could cause increased blood pressure, weight loss, fatigue, mood swings, or other side effects as a condition for providing that child an education,” Ensign said in a release from his office. “It is time for federal action to put an end to this harmful practice.”

Next Story©2003 Narconon of Oklahoma, Inc. All Rights Reserved. NARCONON is a registered trademark and service mark owned by Association for Better Living and Education International and is used with its permission. MMM; include "../includes/press_release_pages.php"; ?>