What follows are my opinions on the causes of the American ADHD/Adderall "epidemic." I believe epidemic a fair description for a drug that has multiplied in use 10,000 times from 1996 to 2009, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. I offer these ideas as opinions, not facts -- though many of the points are buttressed by academic research. A few are just common sense.
I particularly want you to pay attention to :
- Larger class sizes and increased and earlier educational demands on children create stressors for the children, their teachers and parents. For example, more than 20 years ago kindergartners only had to sing the ABCs and play "ring around the rosie." Now, they are expected to read and do simple math before the start of first grade. The increased educational pressures to perform continue on toward getting into a good college and graduate school.
- The declining American standard of living for the middle class leads to both parents working, the need for preschool and more latch-key children. It's a long day for toddlers, school age children and their parents. Managing within the structured bureaucracies of preschool and after-school programs sets up behavioral demands that many children cannot meet. Parents are tired, too, when they finally get their kids at the end of the day.