The Mantidote July 2003 Bonus Mantidote ADHD, Ritalin and the new age of drug pushing I look around me and I see drug pushing everywhere I go. I ride on the corner and see people trying to push drugs that can be traced back to some kingpin who imported drugs in from Columbia. However, these people aren’t the only people doing drug pushing. Now, the new kingpins have become pharmaceutical companies and the pushers are Child Psychologists, Teachers and Pharmacists. Along with this emerges the new crack addict... the child diagnosed with ADHD. This is a society that places all emphasis on material gains, and that is what parents focus on. It took the "I need to dope my child up" craze a while to hit the black community for several reasons. There is one in particular that I will bring up... there used to be an era where everyone on the block was involved in disciplining a child and we were a living manifestation of the Ashanti Proverb, "It takes the whole village to raise one child." Our illusion of "integration" has influenced us to relinquish a lot of the old values and the child support system within the black community and our psychological dependency on whatever white people think (be it good, bad, mixed up or totally irrelevant) has intensified. Without ol’ momma’s ways, we are left to answer totally to Caucasian child psychologists. I’m not saying that we should completely ignore them because truth is truth no matter where it comes from. But this ADHD crap needs to be canned. There is no concrete way to diagnose someone with ADHD. It is a matter of perception. If you have a child has an attention deficit (which most of the time a habit which forms from becoming used to constant boredom), is hyper (aren’t all kids full of energy?) and behaves disorderly (like the president of the United States?), then that is enough to diagnose the child with ADHD... Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. So they call the child "Chemically Imbalanced"and dope him/her up. One of the most common drugs is Ritalin, which has come under much criticism for it’s narcotic like behavior and also has several issues where it could be harmful to your physical health. You might as well allow your child to smoke marijuana. It does the same thing... calm someone down. Throughout my volunteering experiences I have encountered several children diagnosed with ADHD that were put on Ritalin because their "ADHD" was making their grades suffer, only for their grades to worsen after the Ritalin took effect. Like the potential crackhead that starts looking for drugs to find an escape, parents go into experiences with Ritalin and similar drugs expecting to find a "miracle drug" to solve all of their child’s problems, only to find out they were getting into something that was going to make the situation more complicated. Many of the Major western world governments know that ADHD related drugs are harmful, including the British government, which... according to the BBC... has recently issued warnings regarding some of the ADHD related drugs. Yet like the trade of the so-called "illegal narcotics," the sell of these drugs persist. With the state of the way children are being raised, it isn’t going anywhere if things don’t change. There is no replacing effective and consistent parental involvement. People sit their children in front of troublevision and let them play on their Playstation 2’s, X-Boxes and Gamecubes all day and all night thinking it helps, not knowing that is the mis-cultivation of the imagination of a child that is very much a part of the problem. They feed them synthetic foods filled with the same chemicals that Terrorists use to blow up buildings (i.e. Sodium Nitrate) and constantly fill them with fast food and then wonder why they seem so "chemically imbalanced." They then proceed to sticking them in an educational system that is not designed for everyone and then expect them to learn their lessons. Rather than work enough hours to acquire just enough to live by means of bare necessities, we indulge in material worship. So what happens is the overworking of parents to keep buying stuff, which in a cycle like fashion helps remedy the guilt of sacrificing time that could be spent with the child by buying them Nike’s, Tommy Hilfiger, etc. Immediate Gratification is addressed and the long-term needs are ignored... creating the emotion of haste. Then people wonder why there is such an abundance of impulsive children these days. Invest in quality summer camps and after school programs... to hell with fancy clothes! A lot of the children I’ve met that are "hyper," were also extremely awkward and uncoordinated in their movement. Why? Because they weren’t involved in any type of long-term activity that teaches how to move the body. Most Gym classes in public schools are just a few series of exercises that don’t really have any intent or direction in training the children to have sophisticated skills that integrate the mind and the body. When a child has hyperactivity problems in Physical ed, then that means the Physical ed program needs to be upgraded. Be careful. Teaching a child that it is ok to use drugs to solve their behavior problems can have grave consequences when they grow older. I’m out.