A New Look At Old (Non-Medical) Treatments for ADHD
The debate on how best to treat children with ADHD is about to heat up again. The results of a new study, published in Scientific American, suggest that cognitive and behavior therapies may be the most effective options for the long haul.
class=”quote”>“Whereas stimulant medications may help young patients focus and behave in the classroom, research now suggests that behaviorally based changes make more of a difference in the long-term.”
If the advice seems retro, that’s because it is. As suggested in the article, Not-So-Quick Fix: ADHD Behavioral Therapy May Be More Effective Than Drugs in Long Run, researchers are taking a closer look at nonpharmaceutical interventions due to concerns over increasing dosages of stimulant medications that are being prescribed over longer periods of time. A synthesis of the latest research was presented at the Experimental Biology meeting in April, where ADHD experts met to present their work:
Their findings suggest that behavioral and cognitive therapies focused on reducing impulsivity and reinforcing positive long-term habits may be able to replace current high doses of stimulant treatment in children and young adults….As of 2007, 2.7 million U.S. children and adolescents with ADHD were being treated with stimulant drugs. But new research reveals that these drugs are not necessarily the panacea they have been thought to be.
Researchers acknowledge that medications often work faster and are less costly than behavioral interventions, but the experts participating in the April meeting agreed that behavioral interventions are worthy of renewed attention, particularly if further studies show the same long-term benefits.
To learn more about the science behind the renewed interest in non-medical interventions for ADHD, access the full article in the May 15, 2012 online edition of Scientific American at http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=adhd-behavioral-therapy-more-effective-drugs-long-term
Related Smart Kids Links
- Straight Talk About Medications for ADHD
- Beyond Medication: Evidence-Based ADHD Care
- Treating ADHD: A Comprehensive Strategy