When I was growing up I was diagnosed with hyperactivity. This came as no big surprise to my mother as I was always bouncing off the walls and was very hard to keep still. Because I was so hyper my attention was not the greatest and I lost focus easily. Today I would be placed in the classification of what is called ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) as are three to seven percent of the children in America (source: news.yahoo.com). In the wake of a world that is in a state of overmedication, a new study has found that some of the children being treated for the ADHD with drugs are now having ill side effects such as hallucinations.
Researchers of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gathered and analyzed data from 49 clinical studies conducted by the different makers of the drugs and the results were nothing less than scary. It was found, in a small percentage, that some of the children in the study had horrible hallucinations like that of worms or snakes crawling on their skin. In one case, a seven year old girl was given one dose of medication and began talking non-stop. Two hours later she was given another dose and began running around the room uncontrollably until she abruptly stopped and fell to the ground. When asked why she stopped, she said she had run into a wall. The presence of said wall was in the girl’s mind only (source: news.yahoo.com).
Researchers were quick to point out that the percentage was indeed small but also noted that there was no such effect at all in children that had been given a placebo dose of medication. As frightening as the results were they did come with some good news attached. According to New York University Child Study Center’s Dr. Harold Koplewicz, who was not involved in the study, any side effects would be easily reversed by simply taking the child off the medication. Once the medication is stopped, so too will the hallucinations and any other ill side effect (source: news.yahoo.com).
With so many children being put on these drugs perhaps it is time to take a look at what we as parents and a society can be doing differently. Now this is not to say that some children don’t need medication, but more than likely all of them do not. The signs or “symptoms” of ADHD are restlessness, impulsiveness, inattention and distractibility that can interfere with a child’s ability to pay attention in school and maintain social relationships (source: news.yahoo.com). I used to run an after school program for children ages six to twelve and to me that sounds like about 95 percent of the kids I have worked with (especially the boys).
When I was diagnosed with hyperactivity as a child, my mother simply made me go outside and run it off. “At some point every child must sleep,” she would say. Again, there are going to be some children that will need the ADHD drugs to function in society but we all need to take a long hard look at what our kids are taking as results like hallucinations of worms and snakes on your skin are a big deal and a scary thing for a child. Just because a kid is a little rambunctious doesn’t necessarily mean he or she needs to be put on drugs right away. Don’t forget they are only children after all.