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"What Does ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) Mean?"

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U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
Drug and Chemical Evaluation Section,1995

Methylphenidate (Ritalin®) - Overview

1. Ritalin is a Schedule II stimulate, structurally and pharmacologically similar to amphetamines and cocaine and has the same dependency profile of cocaine and other stimulants.

2. Ritalin produces amphetamine and cocaine-like reinforcing effects including increased rate of euphoria and drug liking. Treatment with Ritalin in childhood predisposes takers to cocaine's reinforcing effects.

3. In humans, chronic administration of Ritalin produced tolerance and showed cross-tolerance with cocaine and amphetamines.

4. Ritalin is chosen over cocaine in self-administered preference studies in non-human primates.

5. Ritalin produces behavioral, physiological and reinforcing effects similar to amphetamines.

6. Ritalin substitutes for cocaine and amphetamines in scientific studies.

7. Children medicated with Ritalin who tried cocaine reported higher levels of drug dependence than those who had not used Ritalin.

8. Ritalin abuse is neither benign or rare in occurrence and is accurately described as producing severe dependence. Sweden removed Ritalin from its market in 1968 because of widespread abuse.

9. More high school seniors were abusing Ritalin than those taking it medically prescribed.

Side-effects of Ritalin: increased blood pressure, heart rate, respirations and temperature; appetite suppression, weight loss, growth retardation; facial tics, muscle twitching, central nervous system stimulation, euphoria, nervousness, irritability and agitation, psychotic episodes, violent behavior, paranoid delusions, hallucinations, bizarre behaviors, heart arrhythmias, palpitations and high blood pressure; tolerance and psychological dependence and death

10. Ritalin will affect normal children and adults the same as those with attention and behavior problems. Effectiveness of Ritalin is not diagnostic.

CHADD, non-profit organization, which promotes the use of Ritalin, also receives a great deal of money from the drug manufacturer of Ritalin. CHADD does not inform its members of the abuse problems of Ritalin. CHADD portrays the drug as a benign, mild stimulant that is not associated with abuse or serious side-effects. Statements by CHADD are inconsistent with scientific literature.

11. The International Narcotics Control Board expressed concern that CHADD is actively lobbying for the use of Ritalin in children.

12. Ritalin is one of the top ten drugs involved in drug thefts and is being abused by health professionals as well as street addicts.

Note from Dr. Block: Since Adderall and Dexadrine are amphetamines, the above statements would also be true of them.

1998 National Institutes of Health Conference on ADHD Report Summary

No valid, independent, consistent test available

No data indicating it is a brain dysfunction

Drugs don't normalize all behaviors

Kids on drugs still have higher level of behavior problems

Kids on drugs show little improvement in academic and social skills

No information on treatment for more than one year

High doses of drugs cause hypertension, nervous and cardiovascular systems damage

Colorado State Board of Education Resolution Promoting The Use Of Academic Solutions To Resolve Problems With Behavior, Attention, And Learning

Whereas, the Colorado State Board of Education is constitutionally charged with the general supervision of K-12 public education; and, Whereas, the Colorado State Board of Education dedicates itself to increasing academic achievement levels for all students; and, Whereas, the responsibility of school personnel is to ensure student achievement; and, Whereas, only medical personnel can recommend the use of prescription medications; and, Whereas, the Colorado State Board of Education recognizes that there is much concern regarding the issue of appropriate and thorough diagnosis and medication and their impact on student achievement; and, Whereas, there are documented incidences of highly negative consequences in which psychiatric prescription drugs have been utilized for what are essentially problems of discipline which may be related to lack of academic success; Therefore Be It Resolved, that the Colorado State Board of Education encourage school personnel to use proven academic and/or classroom management solutions to resolve behavior, attention, and learning difficulties; and, Be It Further Resolved, that the Colorado State Board of Education encourage greater communication and education among parents, educators, and medical professionals about the effects of psychotropic drugs on student achievement and our ability to provide a safe and civil learning environment.

November 11, 1999

Violence and Psychiatric Drugs

1. On May 25, 1997 18-year-old Jeremy Strohmeyer raped and murdered a 7-year-old African American girl in Las Vegas, Nevada. Strohmeyer had been diagnosed with ADD and prescribed Dexedrine, a Ritalin-like drug, immediately prior to the killing.

2. On October 1, 1997, in Pearl Mississippi, 16-year-old Luke Woodham stabbed his mother, 50-year-old Mary Woodham, to death and then went to his high school where he shot nine people, killing two teenage girls and wounding seven others. Published reports say he was on Prozac.

3. Exactly two months later on Dec 1, 1997, Michael Carneal, a 14- year-old, opened fire on students at a high school prayer meeting in West Paducah, Kentucky. Three teenagers were killed, five others were wounded, one of whom was paralyzed. Carneal was reportedly on Ritalin.

4. Then in February 1998, a young man in Huntsville, Alabama on Ritalin went psychotic chopping up his parents with an ax and also killing one sibling and almost murdering another.

5. On March 24, 1998 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, 11-year-old Andrew Golden and 14-year-old Mitchell Johnson shot 15 people killing four students, one teacher, and wounding 10 others. According to one report, the boys were believed to be on Ritalin.

6. Two months later another grisly school massacre occurred. On May 21, 1998 15-year-old Kip Kinkel of Springfield, Oregon murdered his parents and proceeded to his high school where he went on a rampage killing two students and wounding 22 others. Kinkel had been prescribed both Prozac and Ritalin.

7. On April 16, 1999, 15-year-old Shawn Cooper of Notus, Idaho took a 12-gauge shot gun to school and started firing, injuring one student and holding the school hostage for about 20 minutes. Terrified students ran for their lives, some barricading themselves in classrooms. Cooper had been taking Ritalin when he fired the shotgun's rounds.

8. Eighteen-year-old Eric Harris killed 12 students and a teacher at Columbine High School before killing himself. Harris was on one of the SSRI anti-depressants called Luvox.

9. A month later to the day, on May 20, 1999 T.J. Solomon, a 15-year-old high school student in Conyers, Georgia, on Ritalin(r), opened fire on and wounded six of his classmates. Thankfully, none were killed.

10. Fourteen-year-old Rod Mathews who had been prescribed Ritalin(r) since the third grade beat a classmate to death with a bat.

11. Nineteen-year-old James Wilson, who had been on psychiatric drugs for 5 years, took a .22 caliber revolver into an elementary school in Breenwood, South Carolina, killing two young girls and wounding seven other children and two teachers.

According to national news reports in January 1999, ten days after Ryan Ehlis, a college student in Bismark, North Dakota, began taking Adderall to control his attention deficit disorder and to help him with his college studies, he slipped into a psychotic fog and killed his infant daughter. He said God told him to do it. The courts found him innocent after testimony by a psychiatrist and by the manufacturer of the drug that the "psychotic state" was a very rare side effect of Adderall use.

Side Effects of Drugs Used for ADHD
According to the manufacturers' drug inserts and to the Physician Drug Reference, the following are some of the side effects of the drugs commonly used for ADHD.

Amphetamine/amphetamine type

Ritalin: depression, chronic abuse can lead to tolerance and psychic dependency with varying degrees of abnormal behavior. Frank psychotic episodes can occur. Patients with agitation may react adversely. CBC and platelet count (lab work) are advised. Long-term affects have not been established. Cardiac side effects: necrotizing vasculitis, thrombocytopenia
purpura, blood pressure and pulse changes, rapid heart beat, cardiac arrhythmia, angina.

Adderall: Amphetamine with high potential for abuse, controlled substance, may lead to drug dependence, may exacerbate behavior disturbances and thought disorders, and psychotic episodes. Cardiac side effects: palpitations, rapid heartbeat, hypertension, cardiomyopathy with chronic use of amphetamines.

Dexedrine: Amphetamine with high potential for abuse, controlled substance, may lead to drug dependence, psychotic episodes. Cardiac side effects: palpitations, rapid heartbeat, hypertension, cardiomyopathy with chronic amphetamine use.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI)

Prozac: Anxiety, restlessness, mania/hypomania, seizures, suicide, impaired judgment, agitation, amnesia, confusion, emotional lability, apathy, depersonalization, hallucinations, hostility, paranoid reaction, personality disorder, delusions. Cardiac side effects: hemorrhage, hypertension, angina, arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, heart attack, rapid heart beat, atrial fibrillation, cerebral embolism, heart block.

Zoloft: Mania/hypomania, suicide, agitation, anxiety, emotional lability, apathy, paranoid reactions, hallucinations, aggressive reactions, delusions, illusion. Cardiac side effects: heart palpitations, chest pain, hypertension, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, syncope, fluid retention, heart attack.

Paxil: Mania/hypomania, impaired judgment, agitation, depression, anxiety, drugged feeling, depersonalization, amnesia, emotional lability, abnormal thinking, hallucinations, lack of emotion, hostility, manic reaction, neurosis, paranoid reaction, antisocial reaction, delirium, delusions, drug dependence, stupor. Cardiac side effects: hypertension, rapid heartbeat, syncope; EKG abnormalities, angina, heart attack.

Luvox: mania, apathy, amnesia, delusions, depersonalization, drug dependence, emotional lability, hostility, paranoid reaction, and phobia. Cardiac side effects: hypertension, rapid heartbeat, syncope, angina, heart failure, and heart attack.


Catapres: Adult high blood pressure drug: delirium, mental depression, visual and auditory hallucinations, restlessness, anxiety, agitation, irritability, other behavioral changes,
drowsiness. Cardiac side-effects: congestive heart failure, cerebrovascular accident (stroke), EKG abnormalities, arrhythmias, chest pain, syncope, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat and palpitations.

Wellbutrin: Agitation, anxiety, restlessness, delusions, hallucinations, psychotic episodes, confusion, paranoia, mania, seizures, hostility, depression, depersonalization, mood
instability, thought disorder, suicidal ideation. Cardiac side effects: edema, chest pain, EKG abnormalities, shortness of breath, heart attack.

Norpramine: Psychiatric disturbances, seizures, anxiety, hallucinations, restlessness, agitation, nightmares, insomnia, confusion, tremors. Cardiac side effects: Sudden death in children, heart attack, heart block, stroke, arrhythmias, rapid heart rate.

ADHD and Nutritional Facts

Vitamin A (Beta Carotene): Aids Memory, Learning. A study in mice suggests that vitamin A plays an important role in learning and memory, a finding that researchers say underscores concerns about vitamin A deficiency in some 190 million children throughout the world. December issue of the Journal Neuron as quoted in Jan 08 (Reuters Health.)

Thiamine: When patients with evidence of thiamine deficiency were supplemented, their behavior improved. Lonsdale D, Shamberger R, Am J Chin Nutr 33(2):205-1 1, 1980.

Niacin (vitamin B3): Supplementation may be helpful for the symptoms of hyperactivity, deteriorating school performance, perceptual changes and inability to acquire or maintain social relationships. Hoffer, A, Vitamin B3 Dependent Child, Schizophrenia, 3:107-113, 1971.

Pyridoxine (vitamin B6): Was found to be more effective than methylphenidate (Ritalin) in treating a group of hyperactive children in a double-blind, crossover study. A Preliminary Study of the Effect of Pyridoxine Administration to a Subgroup of Hyperkinetic children: A Double-blind, crossover Comparison with Methylphenidate, Coleman, et al, Bid. Psychiatry, Vol. 14, No. 5, 1979, pp. 741-751.

When B6 Pyridoxine was given to hyperactive children with low blood serotonin levels, their hyperactivity disappeared and serotonin levels returned to normal. The effect of pyridoxine hydrochloride on blood serotonin and pyridoxal phosphate contents in hyperactive children, Pediatrics, 55:437-41, 1975.

Magnesium: Deficiency in children is characterized by excessive fidgeting, anxious, restlessness, psychomotor instability and learning difficulties in presence of normal IQ. Clinical Aspects of Chronic Magnesium Deficiency, Seelig, Mildred, Magnesium in Health and Disease, Spectrum Publishing, 1980.

Calcium: Hyperactivity may be due to calcium deficiency and may improve on supplementation. Drugging the American Child, Walker S.J. Learn. Disabil, 8:354, 1975

Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Flax Oil): A greater number of behavior problems assessed by the Connor’s Rating Scale, temper tantrums and sleep problems were reported in boys age 6-12 with lower total omega-3 fatty acid concentrations. Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Boys with Behavior, Learning and Health Problems, Stevens, et al, Physiology and Behavior, 1996

DMAE: a neurotransmitter precursor, has been used to improve behaviors, mental concentration, puzzle solving ability and organization(J.Pediatrics,1958). DHA: is an omega-3 Fatty Acid that is necessary for brain development and functioning. DHA may improve mood and memory and deficient levels correlate with behavioral problems in children.

DHA is found in breast milk and is necessary for optimal development of the eyes and the brain. Zinc: Association suggested between zinc deficiency and ADHD. Serum zinc levels in ADHD group were significantly lower than controls, Zinc Deficiency in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Toren, et al, Biol. Psychiatry, 1996;40:1308-1310.

Zinc deficiency may make children irritable, tearful, sullen and have gaze aversion, Moyna han, Zinc Deficiency and Disturbances of Mood and Visula Behavior, Lancet, 1:91, 1976.

Sucrose: may cause a ten times increase in adrenaline levels in children resulting in difficulty concentrating, irritability and anxiety. Jones, Tim, Borg W. et al, Journal of Pediatrics, Vol 1, 126 (2) Feb 1995, pp. 171 -177. Sucrose: may cause increase in inappropriate behavior and decrement in performance. Journal of Abnormal Child Psych. 1986 14(4):565-77. Sucrose: Overly aggressive behavior may be associated with elevated sugar intake. Schauss, A., Diet, Crime and Delinquency, Parker House, 1980.

Important Facts About ADHD

ADHD was voted into existence by the American Psychiatric Association.

There is no objective test to identify ADHD.

Experts from across the U.S. at a recent NIH conference failed to provide any scientific evidence to validate ADHD. It's a known fact that allergies affect the ability to think and learn. Schools, using Child Protective Services and the courts, are forcing parents to drug their children.

Some students are not prepared for learning in a structured classroom situation.

Children can learn how to learn to succeed in school.

Side-effects of drugs used for ADHD include cardiac arrhythmias and psychosis.

According to a DEA Report: "Ritalin is structurally and pharmacologically similar to amphetamines and cocaine and has the same dependency profile. Ritalin produces amphetamine and cocaine-like reinforcing effects including increased rate of euphoria and drug liking. Treatment with Ritalin in childhood predisposes takers to cocaine's reinforcing effects."

Basic physiology and research support the fact that sugar can have a negative affect on children's behavior, learning and attention.

Nutritional deficiencies can cause attention and behavior symptoms.

There are many health and learning problems that cause ADHD symptoms, many of which can be dealt with at home.

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