Homework Help

Are our kids overdrugged?How did we create a society where parents pump drugs into...

user profile pic

alohaspirit | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted November 13, 2008 at 8:06 PM via web

dislike 2 like
Are our kids overdrugged?

How did we create a society where parents pump drugs into their childern in order to control their behavior.  I am sorry, but there are way too many childern that are prescriped very heavy addictive drugs that controls who they are.  The scary part is, once these children want to go off of the drugs, that is when they deal with the real side effects.  What are you opinions about students who are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD that are prescribed drugs?  Do you think we are overprescribing as a society?  Prescription drugs seem to be the easy way out of a lot of issues anymore.

15 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 14, 2008 at 7:41 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

My brother was diagnosed with ADD when he was very young.  My mother put him on the drugs and we watched him face a wall and rock back and forth...completely devoid of personality.  She flushed the drugs after a week and told the teacher that if she couldn't handle her active child, we needed another teacher.

Parents need to understand that kids--especially boys--are supposed to be active and noisy.  Give them the tools they need to be active...enroll them in sports, gymnastics, dance, or just spend time with them outside.  It's ridiculous to drug them all up.

user profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted November 14, 2008 at 8:33 AM (Answer #3)

dislike 0 like

Preach it, sister! I totally agree that children are given far too many drugs. My nephew has been diagnosed with everything from Asperger's to ADD to ADHD. He has taken drugs to make him calm, but that took away his appetite. So they added drugs to make him eat, but then he had trouble sleeping. He's only 9 years old!!!!!! Fortunately for him, his parents' new insurance company has a high copay for those drugs, and my sister can't afford to buy them. He has been off all drugs for almost a year, and he is doing fine. He's a normal, active boy.

user profile pic

jenevra | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 14, 2008 at 8:57 AM (Answer #4)

dislike 0 like
Are our kids overdrugged?

How did we create a society where parents pump drugs into their childern in order to control their behavior.  I am sorry, but there are way too many childern that are prescriped very heavy addictive drugs that controls who they are.  The scary part is, once these children want to go off of the drugs, that is when they deal with the real side effects.  What are you opinions about students who are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD that are prescribed drugs?  Do you think we are overprescribing as a society?  Prescription drugs seem to be the easy way out of a lot of issues anymore.

When I came to the States from England, I was working as a camp counselor with kids from high-income families. It became clear to me that half of them were medicated to keep their energy levels down, DURING THE SUMMER! It made me sad to see this and I didn't understand the families inflicting this on their children.

Then I started teaching in low-income schools. I didn't see any of my students medicated for ADD and ADHD. I didn't notice the difference between these kids and the ones I had worked with at summer camp until I looked around at my classroom and made a keen observation. The boys had overwhelmingly higher energy levels than the girls. Then I thought back to my summer camp kids and I realized it was mostly the boys who were being medicated. I couldn't believe it! These parents believed that their boys had ADHD when I saw almost all of my boys exhibiting high energy behaviors! At no point did I wish my boys were medicated.

I went on to teach single sex Language Arts and Social Studies to two separate classes of boys and girls in a "last-chance school." Yes, my boys had higher energy levels than my girls, but again, no I didn't wish they were medicated. I just taught a little differently the differently gendered classrooms. My boys acheived the same results as my girls with just a little more kinesthetic methods of learning.

Medicating and hence stifling the energy of my students simply breaks my heart.

user profile pic

starfall | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 14, 2008 at 6:26 PM (Answer #5)

dislike 0 like

I disagree with the comments that have been posted so far.  Yes, medication is abused and overused and should not be the first, second but last avenue for parents to explore, but in some cases it is a benefit.  I teach and the motto I live by is to help children achieve their full potential.  How can this be achieved if a student is struggling to deal with their emotions or to maintain attention even with full support.  Providing a student with an opportunity to learn and become functioning members of society is not a 'medication crime'. 

user profile pic

alohaspirit | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted November 14, 2008 at 7:31 PM (Answer #6)

dislike 0 like

For response to #5: medication is becoming the cure all for everything for all types of people.  Yes, I do understand that some people have a chemical imbalance, and need to take some kind of medication to be "normal" and function in society, but when we see such a high increase of kids being diagnosed and medicated, we must question, right?  I think there are many parents that spend more time with their jobs and not their children, and as soon as they see a issue with their child they find the "easy road" out instead of actually starting to bond and learn about their child..come on..someone agree with me!

user profile pic

sbinkowski | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted November 16, 2008 at 7:56 AM (Answer #7)

dislike 0 like

I believe that sometimes, yes parents are using medications to control their kids instead of handling discipline. Sometimes, there are instances where kids will need help. These are few and far between, completely in my opinion. I have seen kids that went from having a personality (and sure some behavior issues) to having a void look all the time and absolutely no personality. 

In response to #6 ~ Yes. I agree that sometimes parents do want the easy road out. I will repeat SOMETIMES. They let their kids get away with so much when they are young and the misbehaviors are small and "cute". Then as they get older, the misbehaviors increase and parents don't know how to deal with them. Once they realize that, the only solution in their minds is medication.

user profile pic

kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted November 21, 2008 at 12:14 AM (Answer #8)

dislike 0 like

I believe that there are many things that are being overdiagnosed in children, like ADD and ADHD, etc.  I also believe they are overmedicated, yes.  It seems the mentality of many doctors is to simply prescribe a pill instead of trying to find other alternatives.

user profile pic

sostrowski | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted November 25, 2008 at 3:40 PM (Answer #9)

dislike 0 like

I worked in a psychiatrist's office for a summer in college and actually performed the ADHD computerized testing.  In this testing, children were asked to respond to certain questions and pictures as quickly as possible.  I was the employee who took scores to the psychiatrist so he could make a final decision about his course of action.  I found that often, the child would be on the BORDER or even further away from the brink of actually qualifying for ADD or ADHD medication, and in an effort to easily satisfy the parents and teachers of the child, the doctor would still prescribe the medication.  This bothered me, because now, as an educator myself, I have noticed that many of my own students are medicated when I believe that their attention issues might be more effectively and easily solved by giving them activities that stimulate them.  I also think that many parents simply do not want to have to deal with their children, so they find scapegoats.  Unfortunately, medication has become one of the many scapegoats that parents have turned to.

user profile pic

Jen Sambdman | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted January 3, 2009 at 2:54 PM (Answer #10)

dislike 0 like

I teach High School Basic English where every single one of my boys has been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. Half of my girls have been diagnosed with ADD. Some are medicated, some are not. I personally wonder what my medicated kids are actually like. Because I have such small classes (my largest class is 15, my smallest is 6 kids) my kids can focus a little better because I am able to pull them back easier. I think with as large as classes have been getting, it is becoming increasingly difficult for kids even without ADD/HD to focus because the rooms are small, there are 25-30 kids and one teacher. I have my "army of animals" that I throw to a kid when he is getting really fidgety. They can play with the stuffed animal under their desk so they are still doing something but quietly and are able to focus on me and my teaching. Also, as juvenile as it seems, I have behavior cards (that only I see, they are not displayed) that at the end of the week, based on the individual kid, if they stayed within their behavior limit of outbursts, not raising the hand, not paying attention to the lesson or whatever, they get candy. There are so many alternatives to medication out there, you just have to understand your kids and their limitations, abilities, goals and behaviors. Some kids do need medication, don't think I believe I can solve the world's problems with a Snickers bar (sure would be nice though right?) but a LOT of kids are medicated when they don't need to be. Boys tend to be rambunctious, girls are dramatic. They will grow up. But until them, let them be kids.

user profile pic

frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted January 8, 2009 at 7:48 AM (Answer #11)

dislike 0 like

It is simple capitalist abuse of market economics. These pills are a product and the powerful pharmaceutical industry finds ways to ensure they are prescribed as widely as possible.

user profile pic

engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted January 8, 2009 at 8:21 AM (Answer #12)

dislike 0 like

Our kids are over-diagnosed more than overdrugged, but often the two are contingent upon each other. Doctors and so-called experts are very quick today to label a child with any one of a plethora of conditions, be that ADD, ADHD, Autism, or a whole host of other difficult-to-pinpoint syndromes (Aspergers, for example).

But once the so-called gurus have ascribed some disability to a child, parents are then overly quick to "treat" the condition using a number of heavily promoted narcotics. These drugs are sometimes unnecessary, and as a result, yes, our kids become overdrugged.

user profile pic

enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted January 8, 2009 at 12:43 PM (Answer #14)

dislike 0 like

In response to #11 - A coercive market is not part of Capitalism, if you study that system closely.  A level playing field (which is part of Capitalism) in the marketplace would have suggested that there are alternative treatments to the solutions that the pharmas peddle; where are they?  Maybe those alternative solutions don't exist, because big pharm has created a coercive monopoly of pill solutions, and alternatives can't get into the market.  This presupposes that there are, in fact, alternative treatments to these diagnoses.  Are there?  Maybe not, and maybe that's because the problems don't exist to the magnitude that the med establishment would have us believe.  What's routinely diagnosed now as "hyperactive" seems to be just boys being boys, for example. Granted, there are cases when meds are appropriate, but they're few and far between, as those should be the most obvious of cases.  The drugs seem to have been created by big pharm in search of a problem to cure, so they've created one, and it's destroying this generation of children.  Children of the World Unite!  You have nothing to lose but your pills! Don't do drugs! Just say no!!!

user profile pic

frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted January 9, 2009 at 1:24 AM (Answer #15)

dislike 0 like

I was trying to imply that the abuse was being perpetrated by capitalists, I wasn't suggesting it was capitalist theory. While cartels, bribes, share frauds, greed, environmental vandalism, criminal death, gross negligence, war, slavery, political corruption and ponsey schemes may not be 'part of capitalism as defined in the textbooks',  it is capitalists who repeatedly do such things. What level playing field?

"A beautiful blood diamond anyone? The symbol of true love and veeery cheap."

user profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 16, 2010 at 2:34 AM (Answer #16)

dislike 0 like

Whilst I agree that there is a potential for plenty of problems, I do also think and hope that we are improving in our diagnosis and treatment of such conditions as ADHD, hopefully resulting in more accurate medication and treatment that actually helps and benefits students. I am completely against drugging students for the sake of it, but I do think that in certain cases it has been shown that medication has had a really positive effect.

user profile pic

acompanioninthetardis | Student, Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:41 PM (Answer #17)

dislike 0 like

To be honest i have had someone in my life who thinks i have ADHD, and want to get me to a psychologist to get drugs for my ADHD. I do not have ADHD, ive even asked several friends and teachers if i seem like the kind of person to, and they have confirmed i do not. i feel thats lots of parents worry too much for the child having ADHD, unless the disorder is to the point where the child themselves asks the parents to put them on ADHD medication because they cannot keep still or cannot focus on a task. A parent should take into consideration what the disorders and drugs that are given are before applying them onto children. In some cases yes i do believe kids are drugged up because of alot of cases like mine where the parents over worry and push their children into drugs they don't need to take. But theres other drugs that are necessary to be taken for the health and safety of a childs body. there are many new diseases like MRSA (methacilin resistant staph), and VERSA ( vancomyacin resistant staph), and other dieases that are becoming resistant to old drugs, we need to make sure that our kids dont get in the risk of getting them, so there are certain drugs that are necessary for kids to take whereas there are others that are not in some cases. 

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes