ADHD: Two Case Studies

 

ADHD

U.S. kids are, by far, the most drugged kids in the world. How many of our kids are being drugged? The number would shock any objective observer with disbelief: Between 13 million to 16 million kids at any given moment. The vast, vast majority of these drugs are cocaine-class amphetamines, methamphetamines, antipsychotics, deadly neuroleptics, mind-altering anti-depressants, and powerful sedatives. Kids in incarceration are drugged at extremely high rates, while kids in foster parent programs are drugged more than four times as often as kids who live in their own homes.

According to investigative reports, thousands of kids are restrained or held down on the floor while being forced to take drugs that will modify their behavior, stunt their development, and start them on the pathway to mental health problems that can last a lifetime. The list of such atrocities is as real as it is disgusting. Suicides, suicide-ideation, and homicides are many times higher in this group AFTER they have been forced into dependence on these drugs. No matter what conflict-of-interest research shows, substance abuse in this group is several times higher than in the non-drugged kids. The most common type of drug forced on these kids are extremely addictive and mind-altering ADHD stimulants that are also sold on the street, where they are injected, snorted, and abused just like their illegal counterparts. Their effects occur on the same brain receptors as cocaine. The results, in time, are the same.

Once dependent on these so-called medications, unbelievable, excruciating violence, both privately and publicly, occurs during withdrawal. Interaction with high caffeine intake is rampant, yet virtually ignored in labeling. Almost every single case of extreme youth violence since the Columbine Massacre has involved these drugs in some way. An estimated two thousand kids have died in incidents related to these drugs, since they were brought to market. Uncountable hearts have been damaged, physical growth stunted, emergency room visits required, mental development delayed, and permanent neurological damage are found in the wake of kids being forced on these drugs, all the way down to 18 months of age. The more mentally underdeveloped (e.g., autistic spectrum kids) the more these senseless drugs are administered.

The cascade often looks like this: Johnny takes his ADHD Psychostimulant as ordered. After he cannot can't sleep for days afterwards, he is given a sedative to make him sleepy. When his body's nervous system adapts to the stimulant, and his mind is now clouded with the sedative, he begins plunging into depression, and is given an ostensibly safe SSRI/SNRI anti-depressant...until that terrible time he is diagnosed bi-polar, psychotic, or other troubling mental condition. As motor problems develop, he is then prescribed a neuroleptic or antipsychotic, and develops dyskinesia and other terrible side effects reminiscent with (young) Parkinson's. Dependency becomes a never-ending treadmill. This is the beginning of a life of polypharmacy-created pathologies. Granted, this example is among the extreme, but the crime is that it happens, albeit legally, and especially if he is a ward of the State.

Thankfully, the vast majority of kids recognize (and fear) the way they feel while on these drugs, and usually do not comply long enough to go the entire cascade. But some, especially those in foster care or in the juvenile justice system where such drugs are routinely court-ordered, are not so fortunate. They become the most abused victims in this terrible collusion between education, government agencies, medicine, and Big Pharma.

Following are two true stories, both with tragic outcomes. They begin with the same note from the school stating that their boy could not go back to class until he was on his prescription. In truth, their names are many, even millions of others, who experienced a similar fate:

Ten-year-old Robbie awoke thinking about the fun he was going to have at school with all those kids to play with on the playground, when his mother walked-in and said, "Now, Robbie, take your pill or they won't let you go to school today." In her hand was one of those little white pills called Ritalin (methylphenidate). Robbie's parents had been sent a note from the school nurse saying that Robbie had attention deficit with hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) according to the teacher's Behavioral Checklist. A simple call to the family doctor got the prescription called into the corner pharmacy, sight unseen. "But, Mom," groaned Robbie, in protest, "Those pills make me feel weird. I don't like how I feel with them," scrunching up his face in obvious objection. "Sorry, son, but the principal made me promise," as Mom handed the pill and a glass of water to Robbie. She pushed it all out in front of the whining boy again and he got the message that there was no use arguing with Mom. So, he quickly changed his tune and said, almost cheerily, "OK" taking the dreaded medication and glass of water from his mother's hands. But there was something about the boy's sudden "OK" that concerned Mom. So, she feigned being busy doing other things while Robbie proceeded to take a sip of the water and, when he thought she was not looking, quietly spit out the pill into the trash compactor. Little did Robbie know that Mom saw the stunt and was ready to counter his evasion by having him take another Ritalin, crushing it with a spoon and stirring it into his bowl of Fruit Loops. But little did Mom know that Robbie saw that slick maneuver, and after a few bites of his favorite cereal--carefully draining the milk from each teaspoon of cereal--he quietly placed the bowl down on the floor under his chair, so that his 12-pound puppy would happily lap up the remainder. However, neither Mom nor Robbie had to acknowledge awareness of each other's evasive maneuvers, until one normally playful but floppy pup became a hyperkinetic whirlwind of energy running in circles and slamming into walls and doors. Finally, the pepped-up puppy ran straight through a pane of glass of the French doors that led out onto the patio. Unfazed by shards of glass imbedded in his face and tears that hid the bleeding, the whirlwind pup ran and ran and ran in ever-shrinking circles. Robbie had to get to school. Helplessly looking out the French doors, he wanted so much to stick around to see if his puppy would slow down. But Mom, who at this point thought the pup had been stung by a bee or some other invasion, shouted, "It's time for school, Robbie! Now get your ackpack and go. I'll take care of the puppy." "But Mom..." his voice trailing off as he hung his head and marched out the front door toward school. When school was out, Robbie skipped all the way home, happy as lark that he got to play with the kids, his teacher didn't give him a hard time, and he didn't get in trouble all day...without any help from that pesky pill! He ran to the front door and burst through the house with gusto. "Mom, I'm hungry. Do you have any cookies?" But Mom was not in the house to hear his pitiful plea. He looked around, saw Dad replacing the broken pane and remembered his little pup's plight that morning. "Where's Mom?" Dad gave a grim expression and motioned with a nod of his head toward the backyard. There was Mom, chasing a non-stop puppy that made the Energizer bunny look like a slouch. "Dad, how long has the puppy been running around like that?" "Well, son, you should know. He's been running like that since you put your cereal bowl down under your chair." Robbie wasn't too happy about that, but now he felt terrible that his puppy was still running just as he was that morning before school---not slowing down for one second. Mom was finally able to catch the puppy, and held his shaking body in her arms, its heart beating a mile-a-minute. She tried to give it a warm bath, but he kept slipping right through her hands, sloshing water from one end of the house to the other. Shaking off the water was as violent as a hundred sprinklers going off at once. Dad came to the rescue--holding him tighter in a vice-grip for a quick bath. But the puppy would not quit shivering and shaking. "All we can do now is try to get him to drink some water, find a safe place for him to sleep through the night and take him the vet in the morning. Next morning, everyone peeked into the laundry room that was lined with old blankets and a spilled bowl of water, hoping to see a puppy lying down all tuckered out. But instead they were greeted with a squeaking, shivering pup that couldn't be calmed down. As Dad carried the still shivering, but now-wheezing pup in his arms into the vet's front room, he could barely contain himself, "We don't know what to do...our puppy got into some our boy's medication...he has been running in circles...we can't calm him down...can you help?" The vet assistant took the puppy and, as she hurried down the hall, said, "I'll be back in a minute!" Minutes turned to hours as Dad sat there waiting. Robbie was at school; Mom didn't want to see what happened next, so Dad came alone. "Sir, I have some bad news for you. Your puppy is having cardiac arrest. We are going to have to put him to sleep, because he is not going to recover." "Is there nothing you can do?" Dad asked, feeling helpless. "Well, his lungs are full of fluid, he has several broken ribs and infection has already set in. Really, we have no choice." Dad hung his head and muttered for them to go ahead and do what needed to be done to put the puppy out of his misery. Then, he went home, the bearer of bad news. Dad couldn't save the puppy. All the way home, Dad could not help but have one recurring thought: If a mere half or less of one of those little pills could do this to a good-sized pup, what does taking an entire pill taken twice a day do to their 90-pound 10-year old son?"

Death as a Result Long-term Psychostimulant Use

It is estimated that between 3,000 and 4,000 deaths among American young people occurred from 1990 to 2010 in the United States. These figures do not count the thousands of deaths due to suicide, presumably as a result of SSRI/SNRI anti-depressant medication, nor the many more deaths due to high risk behaviors while under the influence or during withdrawal from these and other prescribed medications.

Here is another true story that resembles many others' experiences. It is told in the young man's parents' own words (shared here by written permission):

Our fourteen year old son Matthew died suddenly on March 21, 2000. The cause of death was determined to be from the long-term use of Methylphenidate, a drug known as Ritalin. According to Dr. Ljuba Dragovic, the Chief Pathologist of Oakland County, Michigan, upon autopsy, Matthew's heart showed clear signs of small vessel damage caused from the use of Methylphenidate (Ritalin). The certificate of death reads: "Death caused from Long Term Use of Methylphenidate, Ritalin."

I was told by one of the medical examiners that a full-grown man's heart weighs about 350 grams and that Matthew's heart's weight was about 402 grams. Dr. Dragovic said this type of heart damage is smoldering and not easily detected with the standard test done for prescription refills. The standard test usually consists of blood work, listening to the heart, and questions about school behaviors, sleeping and eating habits.

*What is important to note here is that Matthew did not have any pre-existing heart condition or defect.
Matthew's story started in a small town within Berkley, Michigan. While in first grade Matthew, 7, was evaluated by the school, who believed he had ADHD. The school social worker kept calling us for meetings. One morning at one of these meetings while waiting for the others to arrive, the school Social Worker, Monica, told us that if we refused to take Matthew to the doctor and get him on Ritalin, Child Protective Services could charge us for neglecting his educational and emotional needs. My wife and I felt intimidated and scared. We believed that there was a very real possibility of losing our children, if we did not comply with the school's threats.

Monica further explained ADHD to us, stating that it was a real brain disorder. She also went on to tell us that the Methylphenidate (Ritalin) was a very mild medication and would stimulate the brain stem and help Matthew focus.

We gave into the school's pressure and took our son to a Pediatrician that they recommended. While visiting the doctor with the school's recommendation for Methylphenidate (Ritalin) in hand, I noted that he seemed frustrated with the school. He asked us to remind the school that he was not a pharmacy. We could only conclude from his comment that we were not the first parents sent to him by this school. The doctor officially diagnosed Matthew with ADHD. The test used for the diagnosis was a five minute pencil twirling trick, resulting in Matthew being diagnosed with ADHD.

*It is important to note that the school's insistence and role in our son's drugging was documented in a letter written by Monica to the Pediatrician, stating: "We would have hoped you would have started Matthew on a trial of medication by now".

At no time were my wife and I ever told significant facts regarding the issue of ADHD and the drugs used to "treat it". These significant facts withheld from us inevitably would have changed the road that we were headed down. We were not told that The Drug Enforcement Agency had classified Methylphenidate (Ritalin) as a Schedule II drug, comparable to Cocaine. We were not told that Methylphenidate is also one of the top ten abused prescription drugs. At no time were we informed of the unscientific nature of the disorder.


We were not told that there was widespread controversy among the medical establishment in regards to the validity of the disorder. Furthermore, we were not provided with information involving the dangers of using Methylphenidate (Ritalin) as "treatment" for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. One of these dangers includes the fact that Methylphenidate, Ritalin causes constriction of veins and arteries, causing the heart to work overtime and inevitably leading to damage to the organ itself.

We were not made aware of the large number of children's deaths, that have been linked with these types of drugs used as "treatment". While Matthew was taking Methylphenidate (Ritalin), at no time, were we informed of any test: echo-cardiogram, MRI. These types of tests could have detected the damage done to his heart. These test are not considered "standard" in monitoring "treatment" of ADHD they are usually never administered to children. Sadly death is inevitable without the possibility of detection.

*We want to ask every parent to ask themselves these important questions:

How different would your decisions be if information was withheld from you? How different would your decisions be if you receive only distorted data? Informed Consent, which states in part A the person's agreement to allow something to happen (such as surgery) that is based on a full disclosure of the facts needed to make the decision intelligently; i.e. knowledge of risks involved, alternatives etc. and the probable risks against the probable benefits.

The violation of parents' rights is when they are not told of the unscientific nature of so-called disorders such as ADHD or the risks of the treatments involving drugs like Ritalin, and when they are not told of alternatives to their child's behavior, such as undiagnosed allergies or food sensitivities, which could manifest with the symptoms that psychiatry calls ADHD.

*Here are some facts that are being withheld from parents that could possibly alter their life decisions and outcomes.

Did you know that schools receive additional money from the state and federal government for every child labeled and drugged? This clearly demonstrates a "financial incentive" for schools to label and drug children. Did you know that parents receiving welfare money from the government can get additional funds for every child that they have labeled and drugged? In this way, many lower socio-economic parents (many times single mothers) are reeled into the drugging by these financial incentives waved in front of them in hard times, making lifestyle changes possible.

Did you know that by labeling your child with ADHD, you are actually labeling them with a mental illness listed in the DSM-IV, the billing reference in psychiatry? Did you know that a child taking a psycho-tropic, psycho-stimulant drugs like Ritalin after the age of 12 is ineligible for military service? Did you know that the subjective checklists that are being used as criteria for diagnosis are very similar to the checklists used to determine Gifted and Talented Children? These two checklists are almost identical.

The Drug Enforcement Administration clearly states in their report on Methylphenidate: "However, contrary to popular belief, stimulants like methylphenidate will affect normal children and adults in the same manner that they affect ADHD children. Behavioral or attentional improvements with methylphenidate treatment therefore is not diagnostic of ADHD." (p.11) This statement thoroughly contradicts what is being told to many parents by the many "professionals" that have a vested stake in the diagnosis itself.

The DEA further states that: "Of particular concern is that most of the ADHD literature prepared for public consumption by CHADD and other groups and available to parents, does not address the abuse potential or actual abuse of methylphenidate. Instead, methylphenidate (usually referred to as Ritalin by these groups) is routinely portrayed as a benign, mild substance that is not associated with abuse or serious side effects. In reality, however, there is an abundance of scientific literature which indicates that methylphenidate shares the same abuse potential as other Schedule II stimulants. (p.4)

Did you know that groups like CHADD and others available to parents are being supported financially by pharmaceutical companies? This is a red flag and demonstrates a conflict of interest in the role that these groups have regarding our children's health and well-being? Did you know that there are studies such as the Berkeley Study that contends that Ritalin and other stimulants further raise the risk of drug abuse? From the Wall Street Journal, Monday, May 17, 1999 by Marilyn Chase: "Nadine Lambert, a professor of education, followed almost 500 children for 26 years. She argues that exposure to Ritalin makes the brain more susceptible to the addictive power of cocaine and doubles the risk of abuse."

This study seems to never make it into the hands of parents because it doesn't support the theories of those using the diagnosis to profit off of our children. What does seem to make it into many parents' hands is research indicating that if children go "untreated", which corresponds with "unmedicated" they will "self-medicate" or end up as juvenile delinquents. Sadly many of these parents are not aware that many of this biased and unproven research (one such is the Beiderman study) infiltrating our schools are actually being distributed by pharmaceutical companies, such as Novartis. This in itself is another red flag and conflict of interest surrounding our children's health.

We leave you with this question: How many more 11 year old Stephanie Hall's, 14 year old Matthew Smith's and 10 year old Shaina Dunkle's need to die before we realize what is happening and speak out and act to put an end to it?

One toy is recalled if one or two children die from it. How many children have to die from these drugs before we realize and put an end to this horror. Why should hundreds or thousands have to die before we are outraged and act? Is the profit of so many, worth more than our children's safety and lives? Sadly the deaths of these children have remained unexposed and suppressed for so long because there is a tremendous amount of money and profit at stake for so many. My son's voice will not be one of those suppressed and quieted.

*Below is a copy of a letter sent to the doctor by our sons school social worker and psychologist asking the doctor for our six-year-old to be put on Ritalin.

11/22/91

IEP will be on December 6. We have recognized his learning difficulties. We'll likely give him maximum time in a resource room (3 hours/day).

Our concern is that his psychological testing has shown strong average intelligence. Sub-scores are weakest in the areas of attention and memory (which our psychologist believes are indications of ADHD) He has had a long history of impulsive over-activity. We (social worker-psychologist witnessed this in Matt's pre-school at Miss Molly's, That's why we certified him eligible for PPI - pre- primary-impaired. He had his PPI year, then kindergarten year and now 1st grade.

Many environmental changes have been tried to help Matt concentrate and focus, yet he is still at a beginning kindergarten readiness. We believe his high level of distraction is even more of a handicap than his learning deficits. We had hoped by September you and Matt's parents would have begun a trial of medication so that we could assess whether his learning would have benefited by increased focus and concentration.

Would you consider simultaneously having Matt begin his 3 hours in a resource room with a prescribed medical therapy? Parents indicate they would feel comfortable with this decision if you do.

We are so concerned that Matt has begun to see himself as "bad" and doing "bad things" I, as the school social worker, will continue to work with Matt on self-esteem and social skills. In closing we would hope this website about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder, "ADHD" or Attention Deficit Disorder "ADD". and just how lethal these psychotropic can be. Sincerely,

"The Smith Family"