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The ADHD Epidemic in America

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Over the last decade, ADHD diagnoses have reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Behaviors that were once considered normal range are now currently defined as pathological by those with a vested interest in promoting the widespread use of psychotropic drugs in child and adolescent populations. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed "mental illness" in children in the United States today, and approximately 99% of children diagnosed as ADHD are prescribed daily doses of methylphenidate in order to control undesirable behaviors. This article openly challenges the scientific validity and reliability of current ADHD assessment tools and questions the ethics involved in prescribing dangerous and addictive drugs to children. In addition, particular attention will be given to familial, political, economical, biological, ethological, historical, and evolutionary correlates as they relate to the myth of ADHD in America. The goal of this article is to offer a theoretically sound alternative to the current medical model and to challenge the existing ADHD paradigm that pathologizes historically documented, normal-range child behavioral patterns.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2007

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