(This blog is not meant to diagnose or prescribe treatment for any particular condition. Please consult with a qualified Chiropractor or MD in individual cases.)
By some estimates, in both the United States and Europe, 75% of elementary school children have been prescribed Ritalin, and all figures of ADD, ADHD and Sensory Deficit Disorder are on the rise. Ritalin is a Class 3 addictive drug, on par with cocaine, and many teenage children who no longer need the drug keep the prescription, in order to sell it to others.
I challenge school social workers and pediatricians to take a careful look at their process of diagnosis, and ask a few questions before creating the next generation of drug abusers and dealers:
Is the child acting out because he is bored or is he getting bullied in school?
Has the teacher labeled this child as ADD because he/she is overwhelmed and unable to control her classroom?
Is there another situation for this child in the home, such as neglect or abuse or divorce, that may account for the changes in behaviour?
Has the child been examined for food allergies, such as white sugar or cow dairy, as a chemical source of the behavioural problem?
I estimate that if doctors took more care to examine these aspects, the use of Ritalin and other such drugs would decrease to a level of approximately 15%, with children who genuinely have a chemical disorder.
A parent brought their 10-year old son to my office, stating that he has been diagnosed with ADD. When I spoke to the boy without his father in the room, he revealed to me that he did not like his teacher, and that he had few friends. When I spoke to the father, he told me that on the weekend, he and his son could sit for three hours at a time and study together, and that he "did not seem to need the Ritalin"; whereupon I insisted that this did not sound like a boy with ADD, and that he should be taken off the drug, and that the school issues should be dealt with.
I also have an adult patient who supposedly suffers from a Sensory Deficit Disorder, and he uses this diagnosis as a crutch to binge on food, to swear inappropriately and sadly, to drink himself to liver cirrhosis. He has consulted with multiple therapist who, he claims, have told him that he is a "light alcoholic", and that his outbursts against his wife and young son are "human nature." His parents reward him for abstinence from drinking by offering him "just a sip" of whiskey. His wife is in denial. He may have a physical and chemical disability, but his surroundings facilitate his behaviour and allow him to avoid responsibility for his actions.
The first step in health is owning your body, and your choices, rather than covering it up with a diagnosis or drug that ultimately cripples.