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ADHD Awareness Month in WV

Release Date:  Monday, October 14, 2013

by Rachel Ousley
WOWKTV.com 13 News

CHARLESTON, WV - ADHD is a brain based disorder showing symptoms of difficulty concentrating.  It's also the cause of some debate in the medical field.

You may think of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but there is a group who wants to focus on another issue dealing with the effects of ADHD.  Gannett Monk, Pharm. D. and Assistant Professor at the University of Charleston explains ADHD can jeopardize students' ability to do well in school and can jeopardize their ability to succeed in jobs as they get older. 

The cause for concern, is the growing percentage of U.S. children who are diagnosed with ADHD climbing to 9.5% in 2011.  Clinicians debate the causes: is it because we are more aware of the disorder, is it actually increasing in the population, or is it a matter of over diagnosis? 

For those with a diagnosis of ADHD medication may be the treatment of choice, unfortunately it can be abused.  David Clayman, Ph.D. with Clayman & Associates, says college students actually give their friends prescription medication to get through exam time, while kids in high school are selling their medication because it's an easy way to make money. 

Clayman explains ADHD stimulant medication can be a kind of speed, giving you a buzz.  On the other hand, for those with real ADHD symptoms medication can have calming effects that help students focus. 

However, medication isn't the only answer.  Dr. Clayman explains that in some cases, kids would do better with behavioral interventions, but he adds that in the society we live in medication seems to be the treatment of choice because it's easy and more efficient. 

Doctors tell parents to keep track of their child's medication to cut down on prescription drug abuse.