Drug Traffic Accidents: ADHD

January, 8, 2014 | 5 Comments


  1. The NY Times ran a very good article with this editorial on the selling of ADHD. It featured a psychologist who once campaigned for ADHD awareness and now regrets his part in an unfolding “national disaster”:


    The most darkly hilarious part of the article was the quote from a brochure for Adderall XR: “Amphetamines have been used medically for nearly 70 years. That’s a legacy of safety you can count on.” They have a legacy, all right … but hardly one of safety.

    It bewilders me how so many “experts” seem to have forgotten the last epidemic of amphetamine abuse, in the ‘60’s and ’70’s. Repressed memory, maybe? They were probably well aware of it as teenagers when many of their favorite psychedelic bands were warning that “Speed Kills.” That epidemic, like this one, was fueled by doctors’ careless prescribing and drug company promotion of speed as a weight-loss solution (and earlier, as a remedy for fatigue and depression).

    Amphetamines were still a big problem when I worked in the railroad industry in the late 70’s. Anyone who’s worked with, or lived with, a “speed freak” can tell you that these are not benign drugs – and they can be wickedly addictive. I knew several back then who got their start by bumming their girlfriend’s diet pills. (Adderall itself is a re-purposed version of a diet pill called Obetrol, which was Andy Warhol’s drug of choice I believe.) Today they’re likely to get it straight from the doctor for “adult ADHD” – sometimes, after sampling their children’s pills.

    • Indeed, Alan Schwarz of the New York Times has written a great series of articles on ADHD. His stories, which have appeared on the front-page of the New York Times Sunday edition, have impact what some notable and long-time ADHD insiders have to say about diagnostic abuse and associated drug use. However, the broader public seems to be relatively numb. A decade ago when rates of ADHD diagnosis were at least 50% lower than they are today, the public was vocally concerned. Today, the public has been relatively silent – at least in the community where I conducted ADHD research between 1995 and 2005. In the past, any ADHD news story or commentary resulted in a firestorm of expressed opinion. Last month, an ADHD op-ed that was published in the local paper resulted in zero (0) responses (http://www.dailypress.com/news/opinion/dp-nws-oped-watson-1211-20131217,0,5149623.story). Interesting!

  2. This same multi tiered scam is reported so often, that it begins to read like this:

    “And, so another day dawned with the sun appearing in the east…

    Blah. blah,blah– big yawn!”

    BUT, in reality, this very concise recap:

    “A two-decade campaign by pharmaceutical companies promoting the pills to doctors, educators and parents was described by Alan Schwarz in The Times on Sunday. The tactics were brazen, often misleading and sometimes deceitful. – See more at: http://davidhealy.org/drug-traffic-accidents-adhd/#sthash.IO1kTz55.dpuf

    should be followed by the sound of a stampeding swat team! or at least police sirens– or fast approaching— Bells? Whistles? A flag on the play?

    Fraud for profit that has proven serious health risks, is a crime. Right?

    A really fascinating story would explain why the FDA is a crap shoot for this level of crime stopping power– and, for the love of Larry, can we please get the skinny on why there is a rise in the tone of alacrity with each reminder that now– even doctors can view the public as so many suckers born every minute !

  3. I still take issue with the statement “There is no doubt that a small percentage of children, perhaps 5 percent, have the disorder.” The diagnosis is the problem as it is not a scientifically validated diagnosis. Big Pharma has been able to pull this kind of fraud off because we all want to believe that ADD, Depression, Anxiety, etc. are medical diseases. If you can convince the public that there is something wrong with them, you can easily sell them “treatments” for their afflictions. Whether 5% vs. 50% of kids have the disorder doesn’t really matter….. Stealing $5.00 or $5m….both are stealing.

  4. Excellent to-the point paper by Professor David Antonuccio about the “Mythical ADHD and LeFever’s research. I too take issue with the statement that there is no doubt that a small percentage of children have ADHD. That statement, with nothing scientifically to back it up, perpetuate=s the Myth of ADHD In my practice of 40 years, almost all the kids who come in with an ADHD diagnoses are, after a careful evaluation depressed, and always for a very good reason. So be clear, depression is also not a real disease, but a state of mind based upon the realities of our experience. By the way, the percentage of ASDHD diagnosed kids who aren’t depressed usually have some metabolic problem or allergic reaction to various things, a thyroid problem, endocrine problem, etc.

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