By Darrel Crain, D.C.
Have you ever wondered who originally came up with the cruel idea of placing thirty children in a single school classroom day after day, week after week, with only one adult in charge? If you have observed a classroom in session, you know for certain that the majority of the children, particularly the boys, are just barely able to keep a lid on their natural instincts to leap out of their chairs and yell crazy stuff at the top of their lungs while hurling erasers, tennis shoes and apple cores at the girls.
Since I come from a family of schoolteachers and many of my patients are teachers, I am fully aware of the effectiveness of dosing a few of the more boisterous children with Schedule II narcotic stimulants to calm them down. This is especially true for today’s overworked, underpaid teachers who are expected to inspire an entire overcrowded classroom of kids hyped up on sugar and junk food. A chemical straightjacket placed on a handful of the children who can’t control themselves prevents the whole class from erupting into hopeless chaos on a daily basis. Such children are said to have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Troubled by the thought that there may be a slight downside to keeping four million American children amped up on powerful drugs every day, I went straight to the highest authority in the land, the American Psychiatric Association to get their opinion. Our top psychiatric minds had this to say on the subject of drugging children: “Yes, there is overprescribing, but there is also underprescribing.” I am not making this up. Detecting a hint of confusion in their answer, I realized they probably needed our help. It has come to my attention that some readers are having trouble paying attention as well, so my goal is to provide a vital public service that may be of help to all.
The first step of this protocol is for us all to test ourselves to find out if we need professional help, meaning, of course, powerful mood-altering drugs. Ready? Of course you’re not ready! That was just a warm-up question to help you relax and feel more comfortable. The real test is about to begin, so please be honest and answer each question yes or no. Just because you answer “yes” to more than a couple of the questions, it only means you’ve got major social dysfunction, so don’t be nervous.
Okay, here we go: Number one, do you fail to pay close attention to details, make careless mistakes, or get easily distracted? Whoa, that reminds me of that movie where the guy was… Oh, sorry! The test. Number two, are you forgetful in your daily activities? Uh, right. Where was I again? Oh yes, number three, do you have difficulty paying attention? Excuse me, no talking please! Number four, do you have trouble listening when spoken to directly? Hello! Yes you, I’m asking you a question! Look, I’m trying to give a test here, I need you to be quiet. And get back in your seat. I don’t care how old you are, sit down anyway! No, I don’t know where you left your car keys, and don’t you answer your cell phone during class, little mister! Oh forget it, I give up. Finish the test on your own if you can.
Obviously, this is medical science, not rocket science. These test questions are a sample of the ones used by actual doctors to diagnose ADD or ADHD. They don’t rely on brain scans, blood tests, or any definitive tests to make the diagnosis, so why should you? But how can we be sure these are actual diseases that require children to consume a daily diet of narcotics just to function in public places?
“ADHD doesn’t exist–it is not a physical abnormality, and as such bears no risk of causing physical injury or death as does every drug used in its treatment,” says Dr. Fred Baughman. He is an expert who has written extensively on the subject and rejects the idea that millions of children have a psychoactive drug deficiency. Pediatrician and author Dr. Lendon Smith agrees, “It is too bad that psychiatrists have failed to recognize that if a stimulant acts as a calming agent, then they must shore up the flagging enzyme that is under-producing.” He refers to the production of norepinephrine and the ability of the brain to disregard unimportant stimuli. Dr. Smith found during more than 55 years of practice that supplementation with magnesium, calcium, vitamin B6 and essential fatty acids and avoidance of milk helped many overactive children to remain calm.
A nine-year-old boy we’ll call Eric came to my office after being diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed stimulants to control his behavior. A key underlying physical problem was missed by the family doctor: Eric had a perpetual need to relieve internal stresses caused by chronic production of flatus, in a word, gas. Social etiquette clearly prevented him from cutting loose at school except when he was out on the playground, and even then he had to watch which way the wind was blowing. I don’t know about you, but if I were Eric I’d be wiggling in my seat and find it difficult to pay attention if all my attention was forever focused on considering which one is worse, internal or external combustion?
Antisocial behaviors of children may be due to numerous underlying causes, such as mercury and lead toxicity, food allergies, nutrient deficiencies, vertebral subluxation, hearing or visual problems, hypoglycemia, thyroid problems, or even gas, to name a few. Is it possible many of the four million children currently taking ADHD drugs have underlying problems their doctor missed? Many experts believe so. Does taking drugs really help these kids focus and get ahead? We really do not know, because no long-term follow-up studies have ever been done to find out. Are the drugs safe? Writer Lisa Richwine recently reported, “An FDA (Food and Drug Administration) report from April, 2004 noted 51 U.S. deaths among patients taking ADHD medicines. Other reports described high blood pressure, chest pain, heart attacks, strokes, irregular heart beats and fainting.”
The pharmacologic action of ADHD drugs is nearly identical to cocaine, but its effect on brain receptor sites is even more potent. This perhaps explains why an additional million people regularly crush up the pills and snort the powder up their nose to get high at college parties and the like. This illicit use accounts for fully a fifth of all use of ADHD drugs. Interestingly, unlike other Schedule II narcotics such as amphetamines and cocaine, all ADHD drugs consumed illicitly are made by the original manufacturers. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) ranks this class of drugs near the top of the list of stolen drugs.
But enough about chemicals. Even though my answers to the above questions fully qualify me for an ADHD diagnosis, I think I’ll just stick to coffee for artificial stimulation. Let’s see now, what was I just thinking? It’ll come to me in a minute. Listen, I’ll be right back, I’m going to just step outside for a moment.
© Darrel Crain, 2006 All rights reserved.
Comments? Questions? Opinions? Rants? Call Darrel Crain at 619-445-0100
Dr. Darrel Crain
Natural Health Writer
President, CCA San Diego County District
planetc1.com-news @ 8:54 pm | Article ID: 1150948478