Target: National School Boards Association
Goal: Encourage schools to speak out against the widespread overuse of ADHD medication
In a recent NY Times article, the superintendent of a California school district admitted that “diagnosis rates of ADHD have risen as sharply as school funding has declined.” Within the past decade, the use of medications such as Adderall have skyrocketed and evidently, so have our youth’s grade point averages, regardless of whether or not they have learning disorders. Urge US schools to create better learning environments for their students and help prevent the use of drugs on developing minds and bodies.
Adderall is a Schedule II controlled substance and, given that it is an amphetamine, is considered highly addictive. One may even imagine sleep deprivation, desert explosions and violent scenes from one of America’s most currently watched series, Breaking Bad, about a science teacher turned meth dealer. In fact, methamphetamine – the highly addictive, horribly destructive illegal street drug – actually shares a key component with the prescribed medicine for the average child struggling at school.
The short attention spans that seem to have affected youth dramatically in recent years should not be treated with the same “quick fix” principle from which the problem arose. Your son is throwing a temper tantrum? Turn on the TV. All your daughter’s dolls have their hair snipped and dresses mismatched? Hand her the iPad with Barbie’s Magic Closet App. Can’t fix the school? Fix the kid.
Our schools are struggling as a result of poor government funding in an economic crisis. But does that justify the neglect of persistence and creativity? We must celebrate our ability to prevail through difficult circumstances and respect the longer and far more rewarding route to success. Please, take the time to sign this petition that encourages physicians, parents, and schools to educate, not medicate.
Dear members of the National School Boards Association,
ADHD medications are being swallowed by our youth as a mechanism, not to aid learning disorders, but to thrive in a suffering academic atmosphere. It is understandable that schools, parents, and physicians throughout the country want children to do well despite the wobbly economic funding for education. Popping amphetamines as a quick fix, however, could cause irrevocable damage to developing minds and bodies.
I urge you to encourage other solutions to your students and their parents. There must be ways to adjust curricula and learning processes to students’ needs during this time. Attention spans naturally become less focused as a result of the superfluous use of technology. As educators, it is your duty to find ways to help children succeed – without taking highly addictive prescription drugs.
We must celebrate our ability to prevail through difficult circumstances and respect the longer, far more rewarding route to achievement. Please enliven the youth of your schools with education, not medication.
[Your Name Here]
photo credit: Kevin J. Kim via SC200 Blog