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ADHD Over-Diagnosed and Over-Drugged

In a September 1st 1999 article from the Associated Press recently reported on ABC News comes a story about the over diagnosis and over drug treatment of children for Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, (ADHD). The article reports on a study published in the American Journal of Public Health where researchers examined about 30,000 grade-school children in two districts in southeastern Virginia. The results found that pupils in the study took drugs for ADHD in school at two to three times the expected rate.

"It is hard to believe this many children have the specific brain-related problem called ADHD," said LeFever, assistant professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the Center for Pediatric Research. "That is a very high rate of ADHD, by anyones estimate," said psychologist Nadine M. Lambert of the University of California at Berkeley. Researchers also found that ADHD medication was used by three times as many boys as girls and twice as many whites as blacks. The study also showed that the use of the medication increased as children aged. By the fifth grade, 19 percent to 20 percent of white boys had received ADHD drugs.


Dr. Louis H. McCormick, a faculty member in the family medicine department at Louisiana State University medical school, said this study confirms what he has long suspected in his own 20-year practice, that kids are being over-diagnosed with ADHD.

Chiropractic offers an alternative to this over-medication approach. The results of 2 separate studies reveal that hyperactivity, and other behavioral conditions respond well to chiropractic care and even exceed results seen from medication. One such study at the University of Mississippi by Giesen JM, Center DB, Leach RA, showed "chiropractic manipulation has the potential to become an important nondrug intervention for children with hyperactivity." (the term manipulation was used by the researchers).