The New York Times recently published a story about Dr. Michael Anderson, who regularly prescribes A.D.H.D. medicines to low-income children – children who do not have attention deficit disorders, in an effort to help improve their academic performance. (“Attention Disorder or Not, Pills to Help in School,” 10/9/12)
We applaud The New York Times for bringing attention to the concerning practices of some physicians and we should collectively consider the long-term effects that the overprescribing of these medicines to kids has on them and the message it sends to our children: that there is “a pill for every ill.”
As Dr. Anderson makes a well-intentioned effort to “even the scales” for these students, those who may truly be in need of better education on the critical health issue of prescription drug and over-the-counter medicine abuse are the “grown-ups:” doctors themselves.
Prescriber education is key helping curb the abuse and misuse of Rx medicines. It is good for the prescriber, the patient and the student. To learn more visit The Medicine Abuse Project.
Photo credit: Old Shoe Woman / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA