First, blessed Christmas to all, ADD ADHD or not.
I recall the advent of Xanax (alprazolam), a very dangerous med that exploded onto the market, and which differs from the safer meds of its class (benzodiapine anti anxieties) only in being extremely more addictive and having extremely more money spent on advertising, some of it misleading. So now we are wondering about the ADD ADHD medications.
The NYT article discusses false advertising, excessive advertising, physicians being coopted by pharma companies. I think all of these are valid points.
There have been changes: limits on what benefits a physician can accept including the dinner forums, and disclosures of pharma connections required when a researcher publishes. On the down side, pharma won’t let physicians deviate from their script now- before that, I have given these talks, and sometimes they didn’t like what I said and didn’t invite me back.
Abuse – what is the effect on people without ADD or ADHD – this isn’t clear; Are there studies of this? clik My impression is that people can get high ( if snorting or injecting), and can stay awake to study all night, but that without ADD ADHD, the meds doesn’t improve concentration, focus or learning. It looks like I may be wrong though. clik There are lots of opinions about this and I would welcome yours. clik clik If I had more time and could concentrate better I’d look up some real research on this. Does anyone have more references to studies? clik clik
The tests for ADD ADHD in the article are to suggest the need for further evaluation, not to make the diagnosis. Correct evaluation is important, as there are other things that can mimic ADD ADHD, like thyroid problems, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, brain tumors, etc. clik There are too many cases where the meds are prescribed without a careful evaluation.
The abuse potential is not clear; certainly the ritalin, aderall etc can be abused, but it seems the incidence is not very high except for the students who use it to study, which is a different kind of abuse. clik That doesn’t mean that abuse is not a real problem.
Addiction? It seems rare, but here is a scary story clik because she says Adderall improved her functioning although she didn’t have ADD ADHD and says she got addicted.
Finally, the NYT article seems to me to be slanted and sensationalized, but still to have a number of valid points.
I would be very interested in your opinion and comments.
bonus links: more on relationships from Orlov clik
Rupa on relationships clik
on NYT article (but why imaging?) clik