Comment on Vancouver Sun article – Prescribing of ADHD stimulants has soared in B.C., agency warns

After receiving numerous e-mails from people unset about this article asking CADDAC to respond, CADDAC submitted this letter to the editor of the Vancouver Sun. Unfortunately the restricted number of words did not allow me to cover all the issues I had with this article, but the hope is that others will also contact the paper about this article.

 Re Prescribing of ADHD stimulants has soared in B.C., agency warns

This is an unbalanced article, meant to sensationalize a very complex medical issue that continues to be misunderstood and stigmatized.  It is rather shocking that this article only speaks about issues with behaviour and never mentions impairment in attention regulation which causes impairment in daily functioning, long term academic impairment and is the most frequent reason why physicians and parents choose to treat with medication.  If 5 to 9% of children have ADHD, than 4% of children receiving medication might very well mean that we are finally doing a better job at diagnosing and treating ADHD. Research has shown that psychotherapy for children with ADHD is not beneficial, but educating adults who spend time with the child about the impairments that ADHD causes and how to support them is. Alan Cassels questions whether smaller classrooms will decrease prescribing of ADHD medication, but a better question would be why is BC not recognizing students with ADHD as at risk learners and educating their teachers on how to better support these students in the classroom?

Heidi Bernhardt

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