As if to give credence to the one-liner older than the Catskills themselves – “Insanity is hereditary; you get it from your children” – USA Today reports today that consuming Ritalin is becoming a family ritual.
Research says that parents whose kids are taking attention deficit disorder drugs are almost nine times more likely to be taking them, too, now that ADD/ADHD is known to have a genetic component and parents can see the effects of medication on their children.
This trend in which adult prescriptions for behavior control has grown faster than children’s prescriptions sends two contradictory messages. One is that adults who never before were diagnosed with ADD/ADHD may have adapted to their condition a long time ago and maybe even made strengths out of their deficits. The other is that taking pills to become better at parenting — or even at work — is really taking another shortcut to better health without having to actually modify behavior.
Either way, the number of pills being dispensed is far more than warranted by actual need, and the real disorder is disease-mongering by drug companies, whose attention and profits never seem to be in deficit.