When I first started looking for a topic to research, I had a hard time finding an issue that I did not already have a strong feeling about and would allow me to be objective when researching sources. Instead of looking for topics that I was unfamiliar with, and therefore would have no bias towards, I chose to research the whether the effects of the medications used to treat adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder were helpful or harmful. I chose to research this question because I have struggled with ADHD my whole life and have been prescribed a multitude of different medications to attempt to treat it. Each of these drugs affected me in different ways, both positive and negative, so I have mixed feelings about their use.
While gathering articles for my research, my focus was to find sources that discussed diverse points of view, as well as multiple arguments for both sides of the issue. I found an array of articles and studies, some of which introduced effects and benefits of these drugs which I had never previously considered or been aware of.
Because I personally feel that Adderall, the medication that I take for my ADHD, manages my symptoms quite well, which is also shown by participants in numerous studies that I read towards the beginning of my research, I was starting to lean towards the side that favored prescribing these drugs. One very recent article that I found on www.thefix.com , however, caused me to rethink the long-term side effects of these drugs when I read that one of these stimulants, Ritalin, “has the potential for causing long-lasting changes in brain cell structure and function.” This startled me, as I had never considered the negative effects that these medications could have on the physical brains of adolescents. This article also discussed the short-term side effects that come with taking many of these medications such as weight loss, irritability, shaking, and heart palpitations, all of which I have personally experienced while taking one of these stimulants. This made me weigh the benefits and consequences of these drugs more closely than I have before, ultimately leading to a change in my stance on this argument. I am now arguing that the harmful effects of ADHD and ADD medications outweigh the positive ones.
Another article that I found thought provoking and logically sound was one that discussed a much less costly option to manage ADHD and ADD symptoms than medication: Behavior therapy. This article from http://sks.sirs.com made me aware of the financial and medical benefits of behavior therapy for adolescents, which is something that is unfortunately not widely available due to so many children being prescribed drugs as a first resort. When I first began researching arguments for this topic, the financial aspect associated with these medications somehow did not occur to me. I now believe that it is in the best interest of both adolescents and their families to at least attempt to incorporate behavioral therapy into the child’s routine from both a financial and physical position.
Lavitt, J. (2014, April 14). Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Recovery News | Resources – The Fix. Research Shows Ritalin Causes Long-Term Brain Injury | The Fix. Retrieved December 1, 2016, from http://www.thefix.com/content/research-shows-ritalin-causes-long-term-brain-injury
Reynolds, C. (2016, 05/06). Study finds overmedication for kids with ADHD. Toronto Star Retrieved from http://sks.sirs.com