ENCORE: The Over-Diagnosis of ADHD, Part 1


Alan Schwarz, author of "ADHD Nation: Children, Doctors, Big Pharma, and the Making of an American Epidemic" issues a clarion call about the over-diagnosis and medicalization of childhood behavioral problems. It’s to the point where 15% of children, and 20% of boys, will be diagnosed with ADHD by the time they turn 18. Schwarz explains the origins of the use of amphetamine-like drugs for ADHD over 75 years ago. Vague, subjective diagnostic criteria and aggressive marketing by the pharmaceutical industry along with complicit doctors created a bonanza for drug companies. It’s estimated that 50% of kids diagnosed with ADHD don’t actually suffer from it. ADHD medications have a strong potential for abuse and dependency. Drug company advertising and medical education programs have minimized the risks. Schwarz believes that awareness can help stem the tide of overuse, but with current incentives so strongly aligned for prescribing, it might take time to return to rational deployment of ADHD drugs. Click HERE for part 2.

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