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Do ADHD medications work in the long term?

ADHD is a complex disorder that affects each child in a different way. The same goes for ADHD treatments - some methods will work with one child while they may not work for another. Unfortunately, the only treatment that traditional western medicine advocates is the use of ADHD medications, and the only individual adjustments tailor-made for each child are changes in the dosage. Doctors claim that using medication is the most effective way of treating ADHD symptoms. While medications may have short-term term benefits, the real question we should be asking is whether or not ADHD medications will benefit the child in the long run.

ADHD medications like Ritalin, Strattera, and Adderall are actually stimulants that are thought to momentarily restore balance among two brain chemicals, dopamine and norepinephrine. Once a balance in these chemicals has been achieved, the child should be able to do well at school, at home, and in social settings. But the chemical imbalance that is found in the brain of children suffering from ADHD is only a small piece of the ADHD puzzle. ADHD is not simply caused by a lack of dopamine or norepinephrine; the disorder is triggered by various environmental factors that interact with a specific genetic predisposition. ADHD medications only address a small part of the biological component of the disease, but do nothing to change the environment which is the real culprit. Not only is the reach of ADHD medication very limited, but their effects only last several hours. Some children have to take as many as three pills a day! And as soon the effect of the medicine wears off, so do all its potential benefits. In other words, ADHD medications are only a short-term, limited solution to ADHD.

This argument has a lot of scientific evidence to back it up. An extensive study on ADHD medication called the MTA study revealed surprising results that contradict what most medical doctors claim. At first, their results showed that children on medications yielded more positive results than children who received only behavioral therapy. This first discovery led to an increase in the use of ADHD medications to treat the disorder. After one year of treatment, the researchers discovered that 48% of children who took ADHD medication showed improvements. They concluded that medications worked. What they did not mention is the fact that 52% of children were still suffering from inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity! Not only do traditional medications fail to help half of the children to recover from ADHD; the study also discovered that the efficacy of medications diminishes over time.

In 2007, the final results of the MTA Study were published and its conclusions were even more surprising: in the long-run (after 3 years) there is no evidence to prove that ADHD medications are more effective than taking no medication at all. In fact, ADHD medications actually do more damage than good! In traditional medicine, patients must consider the risk/benefit ratio of their medication. If the drug's benefits outweigh its risks, then it is worth taking in the long run. But if the risks outweigh the benefits in the long run, then any risk is too dangerous. And it turns out that ADHD medications are chock-full of dangerous side effects, such as heart damage, stunted growth, loss of appetite, hallucinations, and even death. Is taking a drug that brings little or no benefit really worth all that risk?

An effective and safe treatment for ADHD should do more than merely dispense medication. Actually, it should do away with ADHD drugs completely. Instead of relying on a quick fix to such a complex disorder, the specialist should make efforts to identify the environmental and genetic factors that cause the symptoms in the individual. Once this information is laid out, a holistic treatment plan must be structured according to the child's unique condition and lifestyle changes should be made as needed. And this is where the heart of the UnRitalin Solution lies. The UnRitalin Solution's goal is to help children overcome ADHD naturally, without using medication. This method will take more effort and hard work than remembering to take a pill once or twice a day, but removing dependence on drugs is the only way a child will be able to safely and effectively overcome ADHD naturally.