Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Published 1:46 PM by with 2 comments

To Medicate or Not? The Effects of ADHD Medication

To Medicate or Not?
The Effects of ADHD Medication

Yes, We Rise| To Medicate or Not? The effects of HDHD medication

In recent years, there has been an increasing number of children and adults being diagnosed with ADHD. 

ADHD is an acronym for Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder. 

ADHD is a common behavioral disorder that affects an estimated 8% to 10% of school-age children. Boys are about three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with it, though it’s not yet understood why. 

Children with ADHD act without thinking, are hyperactive, and have trouble focusing. They may understand what’s expected of them but have trouble following through because they can’t sit still, pay attention, or attend to details.   Unfortunately this diagnosis has seemed to rise dramatically in the African American and Latino communities in the last two years. Research shows that African American children are 2 ½ times more likely than other ethnic groups to be diagnosed with ADHD.

Do we decide to medicate because our children in classrooms have been deemed overactive? 

Granted, if a child is disrupting a classroom is it fair for my child to be hindered from learning? 

These are the questions many teachers as well as parents are asking. As an educator, I have seen my students be diagnosed with ADHD at alarming rates because parents are at their wits end with behaviors and the focused nature of their children. I have seen the great effects of this medication such as student focus and increase academic excellence, and the harmful effects students falling asleep, increased excitability, loss of appetite and zoned out children because of the strong dosage of medication. 

There are several medications with various side effects that have children zoning out and in some cases have effects on their weight, personality, and overall well-being.  These medications include amphetamines, such as Adderall or Dexedrine, and methylphenidates, like Concerta, Metadate CD or Ritalin. Some side effects have been weight loss, sleep problems, irritability, and suicidal thoughts. There was also a study on CBS news that kids with ADHD are more likely to abuse drugs. The ADHD medications are narcotics that have the same effects as some of the street drugs being used.

In my honest opinion I believe if the medicine can help a child to function normally in a classroom being medicated then so be it. As a teacher in the school system, I have seen many cases where parents are in denial about their child’s behavior and diagnosis.  What can be done to make parents more aware and go get the help their children so desperately need? How many times have we heard when we were growing up “There is nothing wrong with that child all they need is a stern beating and to sit the hell down.” When in actuality their child needed some medical intervention.  

Is it worth the side effects to get the help that some of the children need in order to concentrate and function in the classroom, or for that fact in everyday life?  

What is your opinion? Medicate or no?
Until the Next!!


  1. Jasmine D ColemanJuly 9, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    My son is on a low dose of Vyvanse for his ADD. He does not take medication over the summer break nor does he take it over the weekends. I struggled with the decision but at the end of it all my husband and I realized it was a choice we had to make in the best interest of our son. My younger brother was diagnosed with ADD as a child and I saw the struggles he encountered so I was able to identify those same difficulties in my son. It's a personal decision and and you have to do what works for you and your situation. There is no magic pill and we realize our choice to utilize medication does not negate the necessity of engaged parenting.

  2. Yes I agree and thank you for commenting. I think it is necessary in some cases, as a teacher I see parents struggle with this everyday because sometimes they feel they have failed as a parent in some way. It is so not the case! Thank you for sharing your story!