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Nonprescription Use of Ritalin Linked to Adverse Side Effects

Ritalin is a stimulant drug prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that has become popular as a “study enhancer” with college students. This nonprescription use is a growing problem, in that the drug “changes brain chemistry associated with risk-taking behavior, sleep disruption and other undesirable effects,” according to the University of Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions.

Earlier research has already shown that ADHD drugs fail to help kids complete homework, so the idea that it can help college students with their studies seems ludicrous. On the flip side, behavioral therapy led to children finishing up to 13 percent more homework problems and increased accuracy by 8 percent — a finding that college students should probably tune into.

Drugs prescribed for ADHD are among the most controversial on the market, especially because there is no laboratory test or objective method to determine which children have ADHD. The side effects are undeniable too: Studies also found ADHD drugs are associated with an increased risk of sleep problems and appetite loss.

Considering the risks of ADHD drugs, and their lackluster performance in improving symptoms, there’s good reason to look outside of the pharmaceutical box when it comes to ADHD treatment. Behavioral therapy is a good start, but another option might be vetiver oil (a type of Indian grass) that showed that children who inhaled the oil three times a day for 30 days they had improved brain wave patterns and behavior and did better in school.

If your child is struggling with ADHD, I recommend consulting with a holistic physician who is experienced in treating ADHD using natural methods. Normalizing your child’s gut microbiome helps, too. As explained by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a toxicity in your gut can flow throughout your body and into your brain, where it can cause symptoms of autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, schizophrenia and other mental disorders.
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