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Canada's ADHD Drug Warning Lifts Lid on Questionable Diagnosis


Last month, Canada's health ministry issued a new warning concerning the controversial drugs used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) fuelling further calls for an outright ban.

London, United Kingdom, July 04, 2006 --(PR.com)-- Last month, Canada's health ministry issued a new warning concerning the controversial drugs used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

The drug warning stated that people with high blood pressure, heart disease or other related medical ailments are at risk from the "heart-related side-effects" such as "cardiac arrests, strokes or death,". The ADHD drugs named and shamed include Ritalin, Adderall XR, Concerta, Dexedrine and Strattera.

"This is another nail in the coffin for psychiatric drugs," says Michael Westen, editor of the online MSN activist group Psychbusters, set up in 2000 to 'decode psychiatric propaganda'. "These drugs, drugs which we are even giving our children, are dangerous and should be banned. The number of suicides and deaths related to psychiatric drug use is heart-breaking, and yet governments are still unwilling to step up and make real decisions to protect public health. Other drugs, such as Ephedra, have been banned for far less."

It's an opinion that seems to be shared by many, including the late Dr. Loren Mosher, a noted psychiatrist and clinical professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, and former Chief of the Center for Studies of Schizophrenia at the National Institute of Mental Health. Mosher famously resigned from the American Psychiatric Association in 1998 due to Psychiatry's growing "unholy alliance" with the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry.

"Psychiatry has become drug dependent (that is, devoted to pill pushing) at all levels - private practitioners, public system psychiatrists, university faculty and organizationally," Mosher once wrote, before attacking the field as being mechanistic, reductionistic, tunnel-visioned and dehumanising. "'Modern psychiatry has forgotten the Hippocratic principle. Above all, do no harm."

Despite the controversy that surrounds the use of psychiatric drugs, there is growing concern over whether ADHD is even valid as a mental illness.

The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistics Manual (DSM, Version IV), the psychiatrist's handbook, lists a number of behavioural traits that it considers abnormal in children, including "often has difficulty awaiting turn", "often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly", and "often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly". Diagnosis is primarily based on results from rating scales, surveys, questionnaires, and checklists.

"It is total fraud," claims Michael Westen. "Many psychiatric and pharmaceutical groups claim mental illnesses such as ADHD are biological in nature, are 'brain disorders', physical diseases, yet diagnoses are entirely subjective. There is no scientific test or brain scan that can show ANY mental disorder, let alone ADHD, exists as a medical condition."

"For a disease to exist there must be a tangible, objective physical abnormality that can be determined by a test,' says neurologist Dr. Fred Baughman. "Such as, but not limited to, a blood or urine test, X-Ray, brain scan or biopsy. All reputable doctors would agree: No physical abnormality, no disease. In psychiatry, no test or brain scan exists to prove that a 'mental disorder' is a physical disease."

Baughman, from California, and Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, is one of an ever-growing number of campaigners fighting to expose the lies within the psychiatric industry. An adult & child neurologist of some 35 years, Dr. Baughman is vocal when coming up against misleading research or downright fraud palmed off as 'science'. "They made a list of the most common symptoms of emotional discomfiture of children, those which bother teachers and parents most, and in a stroke that could not be more devoid of science or Hippocratic motive - termed them a 'disease'. Twenty five years of research, not deserving of the term 'research', has failed to validate ADD/ADHD as a disease."

Despite there being no scientific basis for ADHD, prescriptions of Methylphenidate - most commonly sold as Ritalin - rose to 359,100 in the UK last year, a rise of 344,400 since 1995. Figures from the Prescriptions Pricing Authority reveal that there has been a 180-fold increase in prescriptions since 1991 when only 2,000 were issued in England.

Ritalin, which is pharmacologically similar to Cocaine, is a favoured treatment option for those labelled with ADHD, yet critics claim it is a harmful drug that can cause neurological defects and further behavioural difficulties. Earlier this year, researchers in Texas found a link between Ritalin use and chromosome abnormalities - occurrences associated with increased risks of cancer and other adverse health effects.

"The simple fact is that there is absolutely no reliable test that accurately distinguishes between children that are supposed to have 'ADHD' and those that are not", says Dr. John Breeding, author of The Wildest Colts Make The Best Horses. To counter the claim that ADHD is a valid medical condition that requires medical treatment, Breeding encourages parents to demand conclusive scientific evidence. For there simply isn't any.

Elliot S. Valenstien, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Michigan also agrees. "Contrary to what is often claimed, no biochemical, anatomical, or functional signs have been found that reliably distinguish the brains of mental patients."

"I am constantly amazed by how many patients who come to see me believe or want to believe that their difficulties are biologic and can be relieved by a pill," says psychiatrist Dr. David Kaiser. "This is despite the fact that modern psychiatry has yet to convincingly prove the genetic/biologic cause of any single mental illness. However, this does not stop psychiatry from making essentially unproven claims that depression, bipolar illness, anxiety disorders, alcoholism and a host of other disorders are in fact primarily biologic and probably genetic in origin, and that it is only a matter of time until all this is proven. This kind of faith in science and progress is staggering, not to mention naive and perhaps delusional."

But if ADHD does not exist as a disease, what explains the inattentiveness and hyperactivity in so many of our children?

"There are people out there who believe that those who question the existence of "ADHD" must also question the existence of hyperactivity or attention difficulties, but that's totally untrue," says Michael Westen. "There are many reasons why a child can become inattentive or hyperactive. Nutritional deficiencies or a poor diet are often underlying problems. There can be difficulties in the home, disciplinary issues, vision problems, even a lack of sleep. And there can be many others. Yet instead of looking at all these issues Psychiatry ignores them, inventing a one-size-fits-all 'disease' that requires 'medication'. It's junkscience."

"The lives of millions of children are being put at risk," says Lawrence Smith, creator of the website RitalinDeath.com, "with dangerous, addictive drugs that have been publicly known to cause death, suicide, cardio vascular damage, chemical dependency, depression, tics, weight loss, appetite loss, school shootings and many other things for something that can't even be proven." Smith, from Michigan, lost his fourteen year old son Matthew to long-term Ritalin use, in 2000. According to Dr. Ljuba Dragovic, the Chief Pathologist of Oakland County, upon autopsy, Matthew's heart showed clear signs of small vessel damage caused from the use of Ritalin. Matthew had had no pre-existing heart condition or defect.

Between the years of 1990-2000, over 569 children were hospitalized in the USA due to the effects of ADHD 'medication', according to the FDA MedWatch program. 186 deaths were also reported, yet critics point out that MedWatch is a voluntary reporting scheme and that these numbers represent no more than 10 to 20% of the actual incidence.

According to the Public Citizen's Health Research Group in Washington, D.C, 155 deaths have been linked to Ephedra, a natural stimulant used in dietary supplements, which the FDA banned in 2003.

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