'Scary' Long-Term Effects of ADD/ADHD Drugs

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Interviewer: When we talk about prescription drugs for ADD/ADHD, things like that, behavior issues, what are the long term effects of those prescription drugs? Because none of those drugs are you take for a week and then you're done. They can be months, years, if not longer.

Dr. William Walsh: Yeah, they're usually taken for many years. And the studies that have looked at long term effects are not encouraging. They're kind of scary, actually. What these studies, and there have been many of them and some are quite controversial, but what I get from the studies is that the children who have taken the medications tend to do somewhat better academically than children with the same problem who don't take the medication. However, later in life, if you look at them when they're 35 and 40 and 45 years old, they seem to be doing worse in life. There's a higher incidence of depression, anxiety, drug abuse, alcoholism. So, it seems like there might be some risk you pay for doing it.

Interviewer: And then when you get into the depression and anxiety that often leads to more medication then, doesn't it?

Dr. William Walsh: It does, and again, depression and anxiety are often related to these very same neurotransmitters that these medications are attempting to benefit. So what we've done is, we find that there are natural ways to correct these brain chemistries without using drugs. And it's become really very popular. And when we would see a child who was on, say, Ritalin, and had benefited somewhat from Ritalin or maybe not benefited depending on the case, we would keep them on their Ritalin, identify their chemical imbalances, and then give them a nutrient treatment prescribed by a doctor aimed at normalizing their brain chemistry. Do both together. And then after about 3 months, most of the families said that they were distinctly better. Then we would test lower and lower levels of the medication to see where they were at their best. 80% of them told us that they were at their best with 0%. So most of them, after doing our treatment, were able to get rid of the medication with the child being OK.


Dr. William Walsh discusses some potential long term effects of being on drugs prescribed for ADD, ADHD or similar conditions. He discusses natural solutions and how that might be a better, more safe option.

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