ADD or attention deficit disorder is growing at an enormous pace. It is believed that over 10%
of school aged boys may have ADD (attention deficit disorder) or ADHD (attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder). It is also believed that up to another 10-20% of school aged children
may have ADD symptoms that come and go, without having a full blown disorder.
Many people have used stimulant drugs in order to deal with ADD. These drugs are often given
out like candy. These drugs are in the same classification as cocaine and amphetamines.
There are many side effects with these drugs. The most common ones we see in the office is
poor sleep, poor GI function, loss of appetite and apathy/not really caring (some say zombie
like). Bone health and heart health can be affected. In extreme cases, suicidal thoughts can
occur. While these stimulant drugs can be helpful in extreme and/or toxic situations for a short
period, I believe all options should be considered in the long term interest of the patient.
One of the most famous studies involving medication for the use of ADD was called the MTA
study (Multimodal Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Study). It was a study
performed at six sites across the United States. The study is believed to be the biggest and
most expensive study performed by ADHD researchers. Researchers “spared no expense” in
providing drug management, behavior therapy or both. They also sent some in the test group to
their physician without any instructions.
While I am a fan of counseling and behavioral therapy in some cases, the results were not very
good in this study. Behavioral therapy “failed to result in any significant reduction in core ADHD
symptoms beyond those children who had simply been referred to their primary care doctor.”
Getting to the root of the ADHD problem is very important. The cause is often a neurological
one. On a side note, when the neurological problems are managed, counseling often works
Those kids treated with drug therapy also provided important results. The research showed
“although the study provided strong support for the immediate reduction of symptoms with
intensive medication management, the long-term follow-up data fail to provide support for
continued medication treatment beyond two years for the majority of children.” Almost
every very week for the last 10 years, I have seen children and adults on stimulant mediations
for over 2 years. Many more than 10 years. Again, finding the cause of the problem is very
important. Chasing symptoms may not be the best course of action.
Non-drug management of ADD is possible. We have helped hundreds of children and adults
over the last decade with our program. Balancing and strengthening the brain helps improve
function. Brain maps are a non-invasive, computerized, EEG analysis of brain function. Maps
allow us to find if there is a neurological reason behind the symptoms of ADD and ADHD.
Contact us at The Martin Clinic if we can help in any way. We are located in Duluth, Georgia
(across from Infinite Energy Arena). You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or
770.237.3970. We have in-office and home based programs available for those dealing with
neurological based problems.