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FDA Strengthens Warning Against Codeine and Tramadol for Children

According to CNN, the FDA is placing new restrictions on opioids prescribed to children. Tramadol and codeine are now restricted from use in children under the age of 12. Their use is also restricted for patients between the ages of 12 and 18 years old. 

Opiate painkillers have been in the news almost non-stop for several years. The why is that a modern tragedy is unfolding. Millions of Americans are addicted to painkillers and dying as a result. Unlike diabetes or obesity, there is a stigma attached to substance abuse. Debate still rages about whether it is a criminal matter as well as a health emergency.

The FDA stepping in to protect children from opioids appears to be a solid decision. The fact is that overprescribing medication to children is a serious issue and one that is not limited to pain management and opioids. About two-thirds of U.S. children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) take some form of prescription medication to treat it. 

While ADHD makes it difficult for children to pay attention and control impulsive behavior, powerful stimulant drugs like Ritalin and Adderall help to improve focus and self-control. The drugs come at a price, however, since many of the side effects are worse than ADHD itself (think brain damage, personality changes, sudden death and suicide).

The good news is that exercise has been shown to increase cognitive performance and brain function. Physical activity is crucial for all children, just as it is for adults, but if your child is struggling with ADHD-like symptoms, you should absolutely give careful consideration to his or her diet. 

A great starting point is my nutrition plan. The central tenet is to consume only whole and nourishing foods. Preparing your own food may sound time consuming but the health benefits are immense. The convenience and price of processed food is entirely illusory. You can either pay the farmer now or the doctor later.
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