I don’t trust pharmaceuticals. Especially meds that affect the brain. It took my son’s therapist a year to convince me to place him on Strattera. Now less than a year later he’s built up a tolerance and will be on Concerta starting tomorrow.
I had talked with his therapist who assured me that Concerta was something that he couldn’t build a tolerance to. His reasoning was that with Strattera it was a 24-26hr drug and if you’re taking it every 24hrs than during those 2hrs the old dose was still in your system then you were basically over dosed a smidge and built up a tolerance. Concerta is a 12hr drug so that by the time you take it the next day it’s completely out of your system and you can’t build up a tolerance to it.
So today we went to my son’s pediatrician and talked to her about the change that was recommended. I asked her if he could build up a tolerance to Concerta, she said yes. According to her the more you take an amphetamine the more you need; it’s an addicting drug. She normally recommends taking ‘holidays’ from the drug.
Now previously a therapist I know said ‘holidays’ on ADHD drugs was a bad idea. His reasoning was that once you start taking the drug it can in some cases train your brain to produce the correct chemicals needed so that you can eventually come off the drug. So when you take a holiday, say during the summer months, then your brain gets confused about how much it should be producing exasperating the problem in the long run.
Now I have three experts saying three different things and my son on a med that can cause liver damage over time and is addicting. Lovely.
Is it any wonder I don’t trust these things?
As I’ve said before I believe that it would be better to utilize a daily regiment of exercise and mediation with a good dosing of willpower. Would it work for everyone, not necessarily. I imagine it would have a lot to do with how much willpower you have, if you can make yourself exercise before you know you need to concentrate (example: before schoolwork) and that you’re old enough to meditate. Your ADHD might be too severe for these methods to work without some type of meds but if it can help and is good for you as well it doesn’t hurt to try.
In my son’s case he’s really too young to meditate. I compare getting a 9yr old to meditate correctly to getting water out of a bucket with a stick. If he can just get the breathing down for more than five seconds I’ll be happy. Exercising before we start schoolwork does help him calm down enough to focus on most days. However, his ADHD is bad enough that he tends to become violent when not medicated. We’re talking throwing chairs, hitting, kicking, biting, even one instance of trying to strangle someone.
That’s where willpower would come in if he were older. Lets face it while 9 year old’s might have more impulse control than younger children it isn’t always that great; especially when you had ADHD to the mix. If he were older and more mature he could stamp down on the impulse through willpower to hurt someone when frustrated.
For now it looks like he’ll be medicated. I only hope that it doesn’t cause lasting damage in the long run.