Major Study Reveals ADHD Drugs Were Never Proven Safe Or Effective

Ritalin pills and warning label.A recent study led by researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital, the Department of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and several other institutions, concludes that the clinical trials for drugs approved as treatment for so-called ADHD were not designed to assess adverse events or long-term safety and effectiveness.

According to investigative journalist Kelly Patricia O’Meara, researchers identified 32 clinical trials used to obtain approval of ADHD drugs and found the following:

  • Eleven drugs (55%) were approved with less than 100 participants.
  • The median length of time that the drug was tested prior to its approval was only four weeks.
  • 38% of the drugs were actually approved with participants studied less than four weeks.

Drug regulatory agencies in eight countries have issued 44 warnings that ADHD drugs/stimulants cause harmful, even life-threatening side effects, including abnormal heart rate/rhythm, depression, hallucinations, homicidal ideation, insomnia, irritability, hostility, mania/psychosis, seizures, stunted growth, stroke and sudden death.  These drug warnings can be accessed through CCHR International’s psychiatric drug side effects search engine.

With no medical tests to prove the existence of ADHD, leading neuroscientists have stated that “ADHD” is no more than a description of behaviors, not a true medical disease requiring drugs to treat it.

WARNING: Anyone wishing to discontinue psychiatric drugs is cautioned to do so only under the supervision of a competent medical doctor because of potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

If you or someone you know has experienced harmful side effects from an ADHD drug, we want to talk to you. You can contact us privately by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence. We welcome your comments on this article below.

CHADD Gets Big Financial Support From ADHD Drug Makers

It Doesn’t Take A Brain Surgeon To Figure Out Why.

An article in yesterday’s Denver Post fails to disclose the substantial financial ties between a group that pushes for the acceptance of so-called “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder” (ADHD) and the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the drugs prescribed for it.

The organization, Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), has been severely criticized by both the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for its financial ties to the manufacturers of ADHD drugs.  (For more information on these ties, see CCHR International’s report, “Marketing ‘Disorders’ to Sell Drugs.”)

Direct pharmaceutical financial support of CHADD in the year ending June 30, 2009, the latest year for which CHADD has provided data online, totaled $1,174,626, or 27% of the organization’s budget.  The drug companies providing this money included Eli Lilly, McNeil, Novartis, and Shire US – all makers of ADHD drugs.

 ADHD Drug Manufacturers Supply 36% of CHADD Revenues

Additionally, the drug companies paid another $412,500 to CHADD in sales and advertising.  Thus, the total financial support of CHADD by the drug manufacturers was $1.6 million, or 36% of total revenues.  Why all this financial support?

Pharmaceutical companies have slick marketing plans for selling psychiatric drugs.  They create new “disorders,” as well as elevate the seriousness of existing “disorders,” with the goal of worrying normal people that they are worse off than they thought they were and need treatment – with drugs.  Support groups such as CHADD forward the drug companies’ aim of gaining acceptance of these “disorders.”  (For more information on the psycho-pharmaceutical industry’s plans, you can view CCHR International’s DVD, “The Marketing of Madness,” online here.)

CHADD continues to falsely claim that ADHD is a “neurobiological disorder” when there is no valid, conclusive scientific proof of this.  In fact, no such claim is made in the 1999 Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health, in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), by the National Institutes of Health, or in the American Academy of Pediatrics Clinical Practice Guideline for ADHD.  Even Clarke Ross, CEO of CHADD for the 10 years through 2010, is quoted by The Washington Times Insight Magazine as saying about ADHD:  “It really is a matter of belief.”

ADHD remains merely a subjective list of behaviors, which became a “mental disorder” in 1987 when members of the American Psychiatric Association voted it into existence so psychiatrists could bill insurance for treating it.  That same year, CHADD was formed.  With large-scale financial support from the pharmaceutical companies, the number of CHADD chapters exploded.

 ADHD Drugs May Cause Dangerous Side Effects

Common ADHD drugs are amphetamines – highly addictive and 10 times more likely than other prescription drugs to be linked to violence.  The FDA warns that ADHD drugs can cause heart attacks, strokes and sudden death.  There are no long-term studies on the safety and effectiveness of ADHD drugs.  (Research studies, warnings from international regulatory authorities, and reports to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the harmful side effects of ADHD and other psych drugs can be accessed through CCHR International’s psychiatric drug side effects search engine.)

WARNING: Anyone wishing to discontinue ADHD drugs or other psychiatric drugs is cautioned to do so only under the supervision of a competent medical doctor because of potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

If you or someone you know has been harmed by taking an ADHD drug or other psychiatric drug, we want to talk to you.  You can contact us privately by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.  We welcome your comments on this article below.

 

Protecting Your Children: Colorado Law Protects Children From Teachers Pushing Psychiatric Drugs

As a new school year starts, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights reminds the parents of Colorado’s 843,000 schoolchildren that teachers and other school personnel are prohibited by state law from recommending “ADHD” or other psychiatric drugs to control children’s behavior in the classroom.

Colorado Revised Statute 22-32-109(1)(ee), passed by the state legislature in 2003, requires the board of education of every school district in the state to have a policy “to prohibit school personnel from recommending or requiring the use of a psychotropic drug for any student.” “Psychotropic” describes drugs capable of affecting the mind.

The law also states that students cannot be subjected to any psychological or psychiatric screening, questionnaire, test, or evaluation without the prior, written consent of the parents (or the student, if of age) and that parents must receive advance, written disclosure of what will be done with the results of the testing.

Julian Whitaker, M.D., warns parents against ever allowing their children to be screened in school:

You should under no circumstances allow your children to participate in school-based mental health screenings. Do not be misled by doublespeak from school boards, psychiatrists, counselors, or teachers. Despite their veneer of identifying and helping those at risk, mental health screenings are little more than fishing expeditions, casting a broad net and reeling in millions of new psychiatric drug users.”

There is no valid test for diagnosing “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),” “bipolar disorder,” or any other “mental disorder.”  Yet parents of millions of schoolchildren worldwide have been told that their children have a mental disorder that requires them to be chemically restrained by powerful mind-altering psychiatric drugs.

These drugs carry long lists of dangerous side effects, especially for children.  Common drugs for “ADHD,” for example, are amphetamines that can cause heart attack, stroke and sudden death in children.  They are highly addictive and 10 times more likely than other prescription drugs to be linked to violence.  And there are no long-term studies on the safety and effectiveness of these drugs.  (CCHR’s newest DVD, “Dead Wrong: How Psychiatric Drugs Can Kill Your Child,” can be viewed online here: www.cchr.org.)

Children Can Be Successful In School Without Dangerous Chemical Restraints

Often these children are simply smart and are bored in the classroom. Many need additional instructional attention – educational solutions to educational problems. Others are just exhibiting normal variations in the range of childhood and teen behavior. Or they may have undiagnosed, underlying physical causes of their behavior, such as illness, infections, injuries, allergies, nutritional deficiencies, environmental toxins, etc., which a complete physical exam and a nutritional evaluation can discover.

As Dr. Mary Ann Block, author of No More ADHD, says:

“By taking a thorough history and giving these children a complete physical exam as well as doing lab tests and allergy testing, I have consistently found that these children do not have ADHD, but instead have allergies, dietary problems, nutritional deficiencies, thyroid problems and learning difficulties that are causing their symptoms.  All of these medical and educational problems can be treated, allowing the child to be successful, without being drugged.”  (Emphasis added.)

Children are human beings who have every right to expect our protection, care, guidance, and the chance to reach their full potential. They will be denied this if they are trapped in the verbal and chemical strait-jackets of psychiatry’s invented labels and mind-altering drugs.

If school personnel have recommended that you put your child on psychiatric drugs, we want to talk to you.  You can contact us privately by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept strictly confidential.  We welcome your comments on this article below.

Brighton School District 27J In Violation For Eight Years Of State Law Safeguarding Students

An examination of Brighton School District 27J Board policy by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights of Colorado (CCHR) found that until today, the superintendent’s policy did not contain language prohibiting school personnel from recommending or requiring psychiatric drugs for any student, a policy that has been required by state law since 2003.
This means that for the past eight years, some 15,000 children in the district have not been protected by district policy from teachers, principals and other school personnel pressuring parents to put their children on behavioral drugs, especially ADHD drugs, which may endanger their health and mask the real problems students are experiencing in the classroom.
C.R.S. 22-32-109(1)(ee) requires school district Boards of Education to adopt policy “to prohibit school personnel from recommending or requiring the use of a psychotropic drug for any student.” The law further requires policy that “School personnel shall not test or require a test for a child’s behavior without prior written permission from the parents or guardians or the child and prior written disclosure as to the disposition of the results or the testing therefrom.”
One in nine boys between the ages of 6 and 14 in the U.S. is already being treated with ADD/ADHD drugs (methylpenidate). These drugs are amphetamines, which are highly addictive, which lab rats cannot distinguish from cocaine, and which a government study found greatly increase the risk that children taking them will end up on street drugs – especially cocaine. The last thing we need is schools pressuring parents to pressure their doctors to put even more of our kids on these drugs.
In 2006 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration began to require ADD/ADHD drugs to carry the FDA’s strongest, “black-box” warning that the drugs can cause heart attacks, strokes and sudden death. Cardiologist Steven Nissen, on the FDA advisory panel that recommended this warning, explained the urgency of the warning: “This is out-of-control use of drugs that have profound cardiovascular consequences. We have got a potential public health crisis. I think patients and families need to be made aware of these concerns.”
Drugging may make children easier to control, but it comes at the cost of putting children’s health at tremendous risk. It also does not address the real problem the child is experiencing, which may be a lack of additional instructional help, poor nutrition, or an undiagnosed physical condition.
CCHR Colorado brought the policy omission to the attention of Brighton 27J officials early today. District chief legal officer Janet Wyatt reported that district Board policy was revised later in the day to bring it into compliance with state law.
The Brighton Standard Blade covered this story, which is available online to subscribers.

“ADHD” Just Keeps Getting Busted: Study Finds Changes In Diet Alone Calmed Two Out Of Three Antsy Kids

vegetables
Image by Junior Libby

A new study by Dutch researchers confirms what many parents have already discovered:  changes in diet can have a profoundly calming effect on a child’s behavior.  The study, reported last month in The Lancet, found that for two-thirds of the children studied, changes in diet alone led to the elimination of the fidgety behavior so profitably labeled by psychiatrists as “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder,“ or ADHD.

In no uncertain terms, the study’s lead author underscores diet as the main cause of ADHD.  “After the diet [was changed], they were just normal children with normal behavior. They were no longer more easily distracted, they were no more forgetful, there were no more temper-tantrums,” Dr. Lidy Pelsser said in an interview with NPR.  About the teachers and doctors who worked with children in the study and witnessed the marked changes in behavior, she said, “In fact, they were flabbergasted.”

CCHR has long advocated giving children with behavioral problems a complete physical exam by a non-psychiatric physician, as well as a nutritional evaluation by a qualified nutritionist, to discover any underlying physical or nutritional conditions causing behavioral difficulties.  Parents should also make sure that proper instructional solutions are being applied for any behavioral problems in the classroom, since children’s disruptive behavior can result from not fully understanding, and consequently falling behind in, or not being properly challenged by, their schoolwork.

By 2007, some 5.4 million children in the U.S., or 9.5% of all children ages 4-17, had at some time been labeled with the made-up “mental disorder” known as ADHD, according to figures from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).  In Colorado, 7.6% of kids got the label; in Wyoming, 9.1%.  CDC figures show that boys are more than twice as likely to be labeled with it than girls.  (See Psychiatry: Labeling Kids with Bogus Mental Disorders).

Far more disturbing than the number of kids given this harmful and bogus label is the fact that nearly 3 million of them  – some 27,000 in Colorado and 5,000 in Wyoming – have been put on powerful  stimulant drugs that endanger their lives.   Categorized as Schedule ll drugs by the U.S.  Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and in the same class as cocaine, opium and morphine, ADHD drugs are highly addictive.  These drugs are also known to increase heart risks more than twofold and cause heart attacks, strokes, serious arrhythmias and sudden death in children.  Because of this, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires its most stringent, “black box” warning on ADHD (methylphenidate) drugs.   The drugs are also known to cause hallucinations, convulsions, suicidal thoughts and violent behavior in children.  (For more studies and international warnings on ADD/ADHD drugs, go to CCHR International’s psychiatric drug side effects search engine, and for more information on documented side effects of psychiatric drugs in children, watch “Drugging Our Children – Side Effects”.)

For the failed practice of psychiatry, the revolving-door prescribing of these drugs for rambunctious and inattentive kids — despite the increased risks to these children – is a profitable business plan.  There are no lab tests, brain scans, or any other medical tests that can prove the existence of anything called “ADHD.”  The label is merely the subjective opinion of a psychiatric practitioner with a conflict of interest (profit motive), since he can bill Medicaid or private insurance companies for “managing” the “disorder” by writing prescriptions for years to come.

Indeed, a recent New York Times article detailed how psychiatrists now resort almost exclusively to psychiatric drugging because it is fast and profitable.   According to the article, a psychiatrist can earn $150 for three 15-minute patient visits for drug prescriptions compared with $90 for a 45-minute talk therapy session.  As one psychiatrist admitted, “I had to train myself not to get too interested in their problems.” No wonder a study reported several years ago in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found that 90% of children visiting a psychiatrist for the first time left the office with one or more prescriptions for psychiatric drugs.

If a psychiatrist or other mental health practitioner has told you that any brain scan proves that your child has ADD or ADHD, or if your child has suffered side effects from taking any ADD/ADHD drug, or if any teacher has recommended or required that you put your child on ADHD drugs (which is illegal in Colorado: see “Protecting Your Children: Colorado Law Prohibits School Personnel From Recommending Psychiatric Drugs”), we want to talk to you.  Please contact us at 303-789-5225 or report the details of your experience here.

11-Year-Old Caught In The Crosshairs Between His Psychiatrist And Arvada Public Schools

Child Was Kept Four Days In A Psychiatric Hospital Because Of His Stick Drawings In School

An 11-year-old was arrested at his home on criminal charges for stick figures depicting violence that he had drawn in an Arvada public school, reportedly at the urging of his psychiatrist.  He was taken away in handcuffs to a psychiatric hospital 100 miles away in Colorado Springs and kept there for four days, according to his mother in an interview with Fox News.

The boy was being treated for so-called ADD (attention deficit disorder) and was told by his therapist to draw pictures in school to express his feelings instead of disrupting the class.  The boy reportedly had done so and was in the process of throwing the picture away when a teacher saw what she considered disturbing content and reported it.  According to a report by KDVR Denver Channel 31, school officials initially determined that the child was not a threat, but later changed their mind and called police.

Beyond the question of whether the school district’s zero-tolerance policy of dealing with violent imagery in the schools is too broad and does not take into account the circumstances of individual situations, how does a child go from being inattentive (having an “attention deficit”) to drawing a stick figure of himself pointing a gun at four other stick figures with the words “teachers they must die?”  The answer could lie in the fact that, instead of applying educational, medical, nutritional, and parental solutions to children’s restlessness and disruptive behavior, all too often teachers and school psychologists push parents to take their kids to psychiatrists, who label them with ADD and ADHD and put them on drugs.  (See “Colorado law prohibits school personnel from recommending psychiatric drugs.”)  The rambunctious behavior of boys makes them particularly susceptible to being labeled with ADD and ADHD.

ADD/ADHD drugs are powerful, addictive, psycho-stimulant drugs, some of which lab rats can’t distinguish from cocaine.  These mind-altering drugs are known to cause unwanted and disturbed behavioral changes that include mania, psychosis, hallucinations, delusional thinking, and suicidal thoughts.  (To read more about the side effects and international warnings on ADD/ADHD drugs, go to CCHR International’s psychiatric drugs search engine.)

ADD/ADHDHD drugs are also linked to violent behavior. School officials could well have remembered recent school shootings when they changed their mind and decided to follow school district policy and get the police involved.  At least nine of 13 recent school shooters were on, or in withdrawal from, psychiatric drugs at the time of their shootings, including one of the Columbine shooters.  (The other four have closed medical records.)

The truth is there are no blood tests, x-rays, brain scans or any other objective, physical test to confirm any “diagnosis” of ADD or ADHD.  Even the U.S. National Institutes of Health Consensus Conference on ADHD in the late 1990s concluded:  “…researchers have vigorously attempted to find proof that ADHD is caused by a chemical imbalance, but have come up with nothing.”

While ADD/ADHD drugs may make children quieter and more compliant in school, so would other chemical restraints like street drugs or alcohol.  None of these are workable, long-term solutions for the behavior problems of a growing and developing child.  The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child recently condemned the over-prescription of psychiatric drugs for ADHD, stating that parents need to be able to easily access alternative, educational, and social measures for helping their children with their problems.

At least one teacher decided to publicly criticize the psychiatric drugging of children – and she lost her job over it.  According to KPHO Channel 5 in Phoenix, Arizona, an English teacher refused to remove a bumper sticker on her car that cynically asked, “Have you drugged your kid today?”  As she explained, “It’s kind of a criticism of us tending to over-medicate hyperactive kids who might not need those medications.”  She is fighting to get her job back, claiming that her First Amendment rights were violated.

If you have been told that a chemical imbalance, brain scan, or anything else “confirms” that you or your child has ADD or ADHD, we want to talk to you.  Please report it here or call us at 303-789-5225.

Protecting Your Children: Colorado Law Prohibits School Personnel From Recommending Psychiatric Drugs

CCHR Colorado continues to receive complaints from parents who are being pressured by teachers to put their children on “ADHD” or other psychiatric drugs because of the children’s behavior problems in the classroom.  This is a violation of Colorado state law.

Colorado Revised Statute 22-32-109 (1)(ee), passed by the Colorado legislature in 2003, requires the board of education of every school district in the state to have a policy “to prohibit school personnel from recommending or requiring the use of a psychotropic drug for any student.”  “Psychotropic” describes drugs capable of affecting the mind.

Students also cannot be subjected to any psychological or psychiatric screening, questionnaire, test, or evaluation without the prior, written consent of the parents (or the student, if of age).  The law also requires that parents should receive written disclosure of what will be done with the results of the testing: “School personnel shall not test or require a test for a child’s behavior without prior written permission from the parents or guardians or the child and prior written disclosure as to the disposition of the results or the testing therefrom.”

Parents of millions of schoolchildren worldwide have been told that their children have a “mental disorder” that requires them to be chemically restrained by powerful mind-altering psychiatric drugs, which carry long lists of dangerous side effects for children.  (CCHR’s newest DVD, “Dead Wrong: How Psychiatric Drugs Can Kill Your Child,” can be viewed online here: www.cchr.org.)

Often these children are simply smart and are bored in the classroom.  Many need additional instructional attention – educational solutions to educational problems.  Others are just exhibiting normal variations in the range of childhood and teen behavior.  Or they may have undiagnosed, underlying physical causes of their behavior, such as illness, infections, injuries, allergies, nutritional deficiencies, environmental toxins, etc., which a complete physical exam and a nutritional evaluation can discover.

Children are human beings who have every right to expect our protection, care, guidance, and the chance to reach their full potential.  They will be denied this if they are trapped in the verbal and chemical strait-jackets of psychiatry’s invented labels and mind-altering drugs.

According to Julian Whitaker, M.D.:

“You should under no circumstances allow your children to participate in school-based mental health screenings. Do not be misled by doublespeak from school boards, psychiatrists, counselors, or teachers.  Despite their veneer of identifying and helping those at risk, mental health screenings are little more than fishing expeditions, casting a broad net and reeling in millions of new psychiatric drug users.

“Write a note to your child’s teacher clearly stating that you refuse permission for the child to participate in any type of mental health screening. Include in the note the admonition that if the child undergoes screening without your knowledge, you will sue.”

If school personnel have recommended that you put your child on psychiatric drugs, we want to hear from you.  Report your experience here, or call us at 303-789-5225.

First-Person Story: Aurora Public Schools as a Feeder Line to the Psychiatric Drugging of Children

Children are continually “under the microscope” of the school psychologist

This mother’s story illustrates how psychologists and psychiatrists have turned schools from places of learning into psychiatric clinics, “diagnosing” millions of schoolchildren with ADHD and other “mental disorders” that have no valid scientific basis, then pressuring parents to drug their children. For more information, read “Child Drugging: Psychiatry Destroying Lives”.  For information on the dangers of ADHD and other psychiatric drugs, click here.

My 7-year-old son attended an elementary school in the Aurora public school system last year.  A couple of weeks after my son started school, he began to experience some problems in keeping up with the schoolwork.

I volunteered to help in my child’s classroom a few hours per week.  I observed that the teacher was pushing ahead with the subject matter before many children had a chance to fully grasp it, and that words were being used that the children did not understand.  I understood why my son was becoming inattentive and unwilling to do his schoolwork in class.

I also witnessed the extent to which a school psychologist was present in the classroom.  Almost every time I spent time in that classroom, a psychologist came in and took notes while watching these kids.  I realized that this monitoring of the children was constant – that they were all being “put under the microscope” to find “abnormal” behavior.  I know that there were at least a few children in the classroom who were already considered to be “behavior problems.”

At the parent-teacher conferences for my son, I was surprised that two school psychologists also attended. They discussed how my child’s behavior was the problem.  I told them the real cause was educational issues and that an educational approach was needed.

The teacher suggested a problem-solving team (“PST”) meeting about my son with a group of teachers who worked together to find solutions for students who needed help.  At the PST meeting, a school psychologist was again in attendance.  The words “hyper” and “attention” were used numerous times.  The school psychologist took over the conversation.  She wanted my son in one of her behavioral groups, and although “ADHD” was not mentioned outright, it was quite obvious that was what she had concluded about my child.  I knew that I would be pressured to put my child on an ADHD drug next.  I had already heard the classroom teacher praising another mother for putting her child on an ADHD drug.

I did not consent to my son being in this behavioral group.  I had actually put a good amount of time learning about “ADHD” and was aware of the fact that there was no scientific evidence of its existence.  I said I would take the matter into my own hands and work with my child on his educational needs.  The school psychologist then responded that if she observed “symptoms” in a child, she was “required to report it.”  I felt she was subtly threatening me.  I felt that under pressure from the school psychologist, the school would continue to push for labeling my son with a mental disorder and putting him on drugs.

I removed my son from the school district, deciding instead to home-school him with the Applied Scholastics Online program.  It has allowed me to assess exactly what was previously missed in my child’s education and to zero in on any areas that need extra work.  Best of all, he is having a blast and is learning like a thirsty sponge!

*****

If you have experienced pressure from school personnel to have your child labeled with a mental disorder and drugged, and you want to talk about it, we want to talk to you. Email us or call 303-789-5225. All inquiries and communication will be handled in strictest confidence. We will take action.