Neurologists Warn Against Giving Stimulants to Healthy Kids

Earlier this year an official position was stated by the American Academy of Neurology regarding the prescribing of attention-boosting drugs to kids who did not meet the criteria for them.

In a press release from the Academy, study author William Graf, MD, of Yale University said, “Doctors caring for children and teens have a professional obligation to always protect the best interests of the child, to protect vulnerable populations, and prevent the misuse of medication. Family walking outdoors holding hands and smilingThe practice of prescribing these drugs, called neuroenhancements, for healthy students is not justifiable.”

At Family First Intervention, we are advocates for finding healthier ways of treating behavioral disorders wherever possible. While medications may be necessary in some situations, they may not be the best choice to try first if there are safer and effective alternatives.

The AAN release also quoted Dr. Graf as saying, “The physician should talk to the child about the request, as it may reflect other medical, social or psychological motivations such as anxiety, depression or insomnia. There are alternatives to neuroenhancements available, including maintaining good sleep, nutrition, study habits and exercise regimens.”

As the neurologists pointed out in their statement, these particular drugs can have the potential for abuse and dependency. In fact, the nonmedical use of drugs such as as Ritalin and Adderall have continued to rise over the past many years.

These stimulants have become the “new gateway drugs” for many young people, as we have found throughout our years of helping families with interventions for prescription drug abuse and other substances.

You can read the full release from the American Academy of Neurology here.

Mike Loverde

As a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP), member of NAATP, NAADAC, and accredited by the Pennsylvania Certification Board, Mike Loverde knows first-hand what it’s like to live life with addiction. By overcoming it, he had a calling to work with others who struggle with drug and alcohol addictions—the people who use and the families who feel helpless watching them decay.

With thousands of interventions across the United States done and many more to come, Loverde continues to own the intervention space, since 2005, by working with medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and others who need expert assistance for their patients who need intervention. To further his impact on behavioral health and maximize intervention effectiveness, Loverde is near completion of a Masters in Addiction Studies (MHS) accreditation, as well as a Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC), and is committed to attaining the designation of a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

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