Your attention please

One of the worst merry-go-rounds built by the big pharma-public school system partnership is the whole myth about drugs for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). All too often, school systems push ADHD drugs onto “overly” active young children. Then they keep the children on these medications until they graduate from school.

As young adults, many finally want to get off these toxic drugs. But the adult psychiatrist tells them, “Sorry I don’t work with those drugs.” So–they go back to the child psychiatrist, who sent them into this hell in the first place. But now the child psychiatrist says, “Sorry, I don’t treat adults!”

How did this hellish carousel cycle get started? And, perhaps more importantly, how do we get off it?

Many children aren’t capable of sitting quietly in little classrooms at miniature desks, listening to some public school employee drone on about ABCs. This is not how normal young children are meant to behave–or learn.

In fact, I once developed a theory about people who actually do well in these dull, artificial environments–and often go on to single-minded pursuit of material success. They actually lack something in their mind/personality/spirit necessary to achieve “wholeness” as a person.

So–it’s not that they have something special (je ne sais quoi) the rest of humanity doesn’t. Instead, they lack something (curiosity and imagination come to mind) that the rest of humanity has.

Yet with all the emphasis we place on academic achievement in our modern society, dull, morally compromised, spiritual dullards often wind up running the world. Do you think that might help explain the messes we see in every direction?

But let me get back to the ADHD drug racket.

A run-of-the-mill teacher feels that he or she can’t handle an “over-active” student in class. So, the school warns parents they must do something. A rare parent tells the teacher to do a better job and gets forever labeled as a “troublemaker”–like their child! But most parents just trundle their children off to the “school psychologist,” who feeds off the school system with an expensive, “boiler-plate” series of tests that inevitably shows that this child–and nearly everyone else–“needs” to go on ADHD medications.

Then they start all over again with the next child. It’s like selling multiple copies of the same best-selling book. But instead of charging $15 like the local bookstore, they charge thousands and thousands of dollars for the same old, same old, over and over again.

Now, think about these drugs.

When we give these drugs to anyone else, they act as “stimulants,” which have been illegal for decades. But a “hyperactive” child is supposedly so abnormal and disordered that giving a stimulant to them is actually supposed to calm them down!

In fact, since the government outlawed stimulants like amphetamines, a huge secondary market has grown on high school and college campuses. Students with ADHD re-sell their medications to “regular” students to use as “uppers.” As a consulting forensic pathologist, I worked on many cases where students died from this abuse. So these “uppers” are supposed to “calm down” our children who struggle to adapt to the artificial circumstances of our schools.

But no matter, one of the main selling points big pharma uses for ADHD medications is that they are said to improve school performance among children and adolescents.

But is that argument true? Do they improve school performance?

Not one iota.

In fact, in a new study published in the Journal of Health and Economics, researchers strongly linked ADHD drugs with a decrease in school performance. The study found that children on ADHD medication were less likely to get through school without having to repeat a grade. Furthermore, they were less likely to graduate from high school.

Interestingly, this study was done in Quebec, where a disproportionately high percentage of school-aged children are prescribed ADHD medications. In fact, 44 percent of all Canadian prescriptions for ADHD drugs are written in Quebec.

Of course, government meddling played a role in creating this mess, I’m sure.

You see, socialist-leaning Quebec recently expanded insurance coverage for prescription medications. This change was associated with a sharp increase in the use of stimulant medications commonly prescribed for ADHD in Quebec relative to the rest of Canada.

This “improvement” had little positive benefit in the community setting. In fact, it caused many harmful effects, in light of the way these drugs are used. (They are drugs, after all.)

Today, the most overprescribed, unnecessary and problematic drugs on the market are ADHD medications, antidepressants, and opiate-based painkillers. In fact, ADHD and clinical depression are largely fabricated conditions where the supposed solution is a drug.

We can look at “depression” as a reasonable response to the dysfunction and damage that surrounds us every day, as we can with ADHD. And the academic-government-industrial-medical complex is a major part of the problem.

Of course, I often report how antidepressant drugs lead to suicide, violent outbursts, and possibly even mass homicides. Our new “Johnny-One-Note” Surgeon General could really do us all a service by investigating the role these drugs play in causing homicides…and not just spend his time trying to repeal the Second Amendment.

ADHD is really a sign of the sickness of our public school system. Normal children are supposed to be playful and disorderly (i.e. “hyperactive”). The problem is not with active children, but with dysfunctional schools and their public administrators.

I knew Dr. Leon Eisenberg, one of the originators of the ADHD classification. He was an early leader in trying to introduce consideration of social and cultural factors into health and medicine. He died recently, and I was just invited to speak at an annual symposium in his honor on cultural and social factors in health and medicine.

During his lifetime, Dr. Eisenberg tried to find and help those students who really had problems with social adjustment. But then big pharma helped turn ADHD into a racket for schools to tranquilize their students…for mediocre school psychologists to make lucrative careers out of mindlessly running one-size-fits-all ADHD diagnosis mills…and, of course, for big pharma to sell more and more drugs. In Quebec, it appears few get out of the school system alive without taking these drugs.

On his deathbed, Dr. Eisenberg said that, as an illness, ADHD is “fictitious.” He said it’s a “prime example” of good intentions gone wrong. So that’s how the road to hell is paved: with good intentions, and ADHD drugs for our children.


  1. “Do stimulant medications improve educational and behavioral outcomes for children with ADHD?” Journal of Health Economics September 2014; 37: 58-69