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ADHD Stimulant Drug Overdoses In Iowa

Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, June 22, 2009 1:59 PM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: ADHD, Adderall, Concerta, Ritalin, ADD, Psychiatrists, Conflict-of-Interest, Biederman, Sudden Cardiac Death, Heart Attack

Kids in Eastern Iowa appear to be overdosing on ADHD drugs.  

ADHD Drug Overdoses



IMAGE SOURCE:  ©iStockphoto/ pencil case & drugs/ author: TACrafts


An increasing number of young people from Eastern Iowa appear to be abusing drugs used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD.

Some have led to hospitalizations for overdoses.  

United Press International reports the drugs include Adderall, Ritalin LA, Vyvanse, and Concerta, all stimulants that cause the user to experiencing a racing heart, tremors, high blood pressure, agitation, and vomiting.   

The overdoses were found in young people between the ages of 13 and 24 years.   Seven individuals were admitted to the Iowa Poison Control Center in the past week.  

The Center director says kids are abusing drugs to stay awake to study and to lose weight, while five  report they were trying to get high.  

ADHD is a pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity more severe than what is expected in a child’s development. It is diagnosed more frequently in boys than girls. Approximately four to 10 percent of U.S. children are diagnosed with ADHD.

The Gazette reports that 4 percent of those who responded to the 2008 Iowa Youth Survey report they use prescription drugs without a prescription.

FDA Warning

Just last week, the Food and Drug Administration issued a safety update on ADHD drugs after an article was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry on the risks of stimulant medication to children under treatment.  

The study, funded by the FDA and the National Institute of Mental Health, compared the deaths of 564 children who died in motor vehicle accidents to the deaths of 564 children who died suddenly due to the use of stimulant medication.

FDA Reports:  

  • Out of 564 healthy children who died suddenly, 10 were reported to be taking a stimulant medication at the time of death.
  • Out of 564 healthy children who died in a motor vehicle accident, 2 were reported to be taking a stimulant medication at the time of death.

The implications are there may be an association between stimulant use and sudden death from heart attack in otherwise healthy children.  Healthcare providers are encouraged to take a medical history for cardiovascular disease before a child is put on stimulants. 

The FDA says it is unable to conclude that the overall risk supersedes the benefits posed by the stimulant medication.  Parents are told to consult with their doctors before they stop the child’s stimulant medication. 

Since the 1980s stimulants have been increasingly used and it’s estimated about 2.5 million currently receive these medications in the US.  Adult use is increasing as well.   

There has been a 300 percent increase in the production and supply of stimulants such as Ritalin in the U.S. between 1995 and 2006. A commentary in the journal Nature, argues that drugs in health adults is a legitimate way of obtaining an edge in improving brain power.

In 2006, the FDA requested the package warning label contain a warning that “stimulant products generally should not be used in children or adolescents with known serious structural cardiac abnormalities, cardiomyopathy, serious heart rhythm abnormalities, or other serious cardiac problems that may place them at increased vulnerability to the sympathomimetic effects of a stimulant drug.”  #


Anonymous User
Posted by Cynthia Boggs
Tuesday, June 23, 2009 7:57 AM EST

I'll speak from personal experience of 9 years. This is strictly my view and is meant to inform not ridicule other parents decisions in their decisions either to medicate or not medicate their children. Every good parent does what they think is the absolute best for their child. When a parent is faced with highly educated, respected socially, doctors, psychiatrists & school personnel all pushing the Big Pharma angle of medicating is whats best for your child, a parent becomes somewhat brain-washed and follows society's rule. My husband and I did just that. Our son was 'diagnosed' ADHD along with defiance. From age 3 1/2 to age 11 he used ritalin, concerta, and many others to treat the symptoms the meds were actually causing. Within a few months to a years time he was admitted into a hospital as an outpatient for a week due to him (the meds) causing himself harmful situations. Long story short, we took him to Dr. Block in TX who tested him for allergies among other tests and the boy was simply allergic to the foods he was eating. Meat, dairy, even bread his body did not process 'normally.' We changed his nutrition and as God as my witness that boy was a different child overnight. The defiance was minimized, the boy inside of the drug-induced comalike attitude was alive again with a zest for learning and doing. I have my son back now that he is off those meds. In HIS case, everyday nutrition was his issue. Not a fraudulant disease the 'educated' have yet to prove existence. Care for a 'RESPECTFUL' debate or other information feel free to email or post. Again, just my view of what WE went through. Raise your child with love, patience and TRUE COMPLETE EDUCATION.

Posted by Jane Akre
Tuesday, June 23, 2009 9:46 AM EST


Thank you so much for including your personal experience here. You can't come to any conclusion other than ADHD or ADD is the disease of the day as any disruption problem seems to fall into the category. And many like you have found some trigger in the diet as the root of the problem.

One of my favorite complimentary medicine doctors discusses this on his web site, Dr. Mercola. See:

LINK and foods&k=adhd and foods

Thanks so much for adding your experience. Others?

Comments for this article are closed.

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