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New Study Shows ADHD Drugs Don’t Improve Academics

nberA study recently conducted by the nonprofit National Bureau of Economics Research (NBER) looked at 4,000 students in Quebec taking stimulant medications for ADHD over an average of 11 years. The results might be surprising to many physicians and educators.

The kids taking the prescriptions did not perform better in their studies compared to others with similar symptoms not taking medication. In fact, it found that the boys who were medicated actually did worse.

The Wall Street Journal quoted study co-author Janet Currie from the Center for Health & Wellbeing at Princeton University as saying “The possibility that [medication] won’t help them [in school] needs to be acknowledged and needs to be closely monitored.”

The academic outcomes were only a portion of the study, as they also found that emotional problems increased among the girls who were on the drugs. Both of these findings appear to be contrary to how medications like Ritalin and Adderall are marketed.

There are doctors who seek to change lifestyle factors for ADHD symptoms first such as diet, sleep, exercise and reduction of tv or video games before turning to a prescription stimulant. Although there are undoubtedly many kids, parents, teachers and doctors who have seen positive results from taking stimulant medications for ADHD symptoms, this new study really cannot be ignored. There is also the fact that these drugs continue to be diverted and used non-medically, as they have a high potential for abuse and dependency.

If you or someone you know has had a problem with a prescription stimulant or any other drug and are in need of treatment, contact Desert Cove Recovery today.