This morning I was watching the news and saw something on there that bothered me and I posted it on Facebook. This started a bit of a debate between a couple of folks. I now feel the need to explain my opinion on this issue.
I posted, "Young adults with Autism and ADHD have a higher risk of using alcohol and marijuana due to the social issues caused by their disabilities." ~Channel 40 News Reports :(
A couple comments under this post were " adhd is a made up disease"....."And its insinuating marijuana is bad for you and even comparable to health risks of alcohol."
I have to very specifically address those 2 statements. First of all, ADHD is very much a real disorder. I wont say its a disease because the definition doesn't quite fit. For those of you who disagree, here you go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attention_deficit_hyperactivity_disorder. Now, my son has a very severe case of ADHD which does not simply make him hyper, which most people think, but it forces him stay in motion even when he's exhausted. It raises his heart rate, his blood pressure and causes him to sweat profusely. He does things that most people wouldn't do, such as, jumping off furniture, throwing himself into walls and purposely falling on the floor. He also does things like running across the street without looking, talks to himself constantly, doesn't dry off after showering, inhales his food often choking and so on. All these things (and more) have proven to be very dangerous to him and therefore requires medication to insure his safety.
I do understand that there are lots of Doctors out there who spent many years 'shutting kids up with Ritalin', and I do know that unfortunately a lot of Doctors still do this, but I can assure you, my son's Doctor did everything he could to treat my son without medicine but eventually had no choice.
Another comment in the post was that if people fed their kids healthy foods they wouldn't have such rambunctious children. I agree to that very strongly, but if its to say that all kids with ADHD are simply rambunctious kids with bad diets, I again assure you, you're wrong. I know this because I live and thrive on a very healthy diet of organic produce and fresh meats. I always follow the food charts (except we can't eat nearly as much food as the chart says to in one day.) I grow my own gardens and pick my own fruits from orchards that I tend, personally. So I know there's no pesticides or chemicals other than is found in nature in my produce. The meats I purchase are typically from our local farms and or fresh from the butcher (sometimes I cheat and buy fresh meats from the grocery store cuz I'm not rich but its never frozen and does not contain a ton of preservatives). I always incorporate multigrain foods and nuts into our meals and I cook. I don't microwave our meals. So you bet your ass my son is not a victim of shit diets like most kids are these days, which is why that cannot be the cause of his ADHD.
As for the comment about marijuana not being comparable to alcohol, that's incorrect as well. I know more people that smoke marijuana than those who don't. I find that to be one of the saddest statements I've ever made, but it's true. Having said that, I think I need to enlighten you on the affects that marijuana has on you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_marijuana.
I have spent the majority of my life observing people under the influence of both marijuana and alcohol and I find them to be very comparable. Though they have their differences, they vary only slightly. Pot may calm most people down but it does so in a very unnatural way. It delays your reactions both physically and mentally and causes memory loss. These are the most obvious affects I've seen. It's also why they came up with the commercial with a man frying an egg: "This is your brain (egg in a shell), this is your brain on drugs" (egg in the frying pan). It's because when one smokes pot, they become slow and dumb, and not just when under the influence but also when not (over time and with excessive use). And it is addictive, both behaviorally and physically.
Alcohol is a quicker and more damaging way to harm yourself. It is faster to cause physical illnesses, faster to cause permanent damage and faster to cause addiction. But again, it causes you to slow down. You do so because your blood is being poisoned which causes your brain to malfunction. So you become clumsy, slow to react, slow to receive information, and it causes misinterpretations of communication causing all sorts of unnecessary behavior. If you're reading this and really so stupid as not to believe me, here you go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_alcohol#Short-term_effects_of_alcohol.
Having said all this, I will say that I absolutely believe that kids who are being raised with a poor diet can and will have behavioral issues, hyperactive issues, health issues and so on. YES. This is true. You know what they say, "You are what you eat." This is true (which is why I eat so healthy). If you eat a ton of sugary foods every day, you will act out, be hyper, misbehave and so on because sugar is known for causing all these things to happen if over used. If kids eat food filled with fat and preservatives all the time and never see fresh foods, they are more likely to get heart disease, be victims of obesity, have high blood pressure and so on. The fats and salts in these foods if eaten in access are known to cause physical illnesses. So, you are what you eat. If your diet is unhealthy, so are you.
There are WAY too many people who are feeding their kids this kind of diet. Then when their kids act out they go to the Doctors and complain and manage to convince them to prescribe meds. They typically like to blame money and the down economy and so forth for it but as a single mother who struggles every day, I can tell you first hand, laziness and a lack of education (agricultural and dietary) is the culprit.
I must admit, over the last year I've had a growing fear that my son may fall into the wrong crowd and choose to smoke pot. Why? A couple of reasons. First of all, the medication he's on (which is supposedly non habit forming) is becoming a bit of a dependency for my son. He is 13 now and has been on them since he was 5 (with minor changes annually). There have been times when we ran out of meds and my son would get upset about it. When asked what the problem was he responded, "I don't like the way I feel when I don't take my meds." I understand this in 2 ways, one is that the meds are really working, the other is that he may feel the need to take his meds to calm down enough to be around other people. See, when he's off the meds, he's so out of control that he doesn't even realize other people are around and he is a serious social butterfly. He loves people. Sometimes his hyperactive ways cause them to leave. He becomes a little dangerous in some ways that just makes other people uncomfortable. So all this makes me nervous.
As time goes by typically the signs and symptoms of ADHD kind of calm down. Unfortunately for my son, it hasn't done that yet. But I try to test him by taking his meds away during the summer (which I will try again this season) to see if I can take him off of them all together. The reason I want to take him off the meds is because of the inadvertent side affects it has on him.
Unfortunately the meds my son is on cause Insomnia, Lack of Appetite and Mood Swings. So now he's on 2 additional medications to counter act 2 of the 3 side affects. When will the madness end????This has truly been troubling for me as a single mom. I work 2/3 jobs and have NEVER taken a vacation and it's all to support my son and my home. My son is about 15 pounds underweight and about 4-5" shorter than he should be for his age. His growth patterns came to an immediately halt when he started taking the medication. Ever since it's been an uphill battle with the Doctors and with my son to fix this.
The mood swings......oh lord! When he's off the meds he's the sweetest, funniest, goofiest young man you'd ever seen! So happy, always laughing and smiling, very agreeable and helpful, very easy to get along with. But when he's on the meds, he's mad, annoyed, snotty, sarcastic, even hateful. And lately he's been expressing a need to use violence on people. This is a serious cause for concern. His teachers are complaining about his attitude and complaining about him talking back and (if you can believe this) they are pushing me to give him MORE meds!
Don't panic! I'm not crazy and I never give into pressure. I will NOT be giving my son more meds. In fact, I'm working my way to getting rid of them all together. But I'm very worried. I'm hoping going without the meds this summer will help to wean him off of them so I can finally stop giving them to him. But if he can't control himself, he'll have to go back on or else the school will kick him out. Yup, you heard me. I was threatened with it more than once. This year has been no exception.
So I can see how the studies may be right. Then again, everyone these days is a likely candidate for substance abuse. There are many reasons other than ADHD and Autism that make people feel inadequate enough to 'self medicate'.
I apologize if any of you reading this takes offense to the things I've said but I speak from both a life time of experience and solid scientific facts.
If you're a hippie and reading this then PEACE.....and for god sake PUT DOWN THE BONG, PAY YOUR TAXES AND TAKE A SHOWER!!!!
If you are a pot head and/or an alcoholic and hotly contest all I've said here then it's only because you are an addict with a problem and you're in denial. Either that or you've smoked so much pot you've lost touch with reality all together. Either way, you're safe. America will give you Social Security Benefits for your disability. A disability that you wouldn't have if you hadn't taken up drugs/alcohol in the first damn place. And since I'm the one paying the taxes that pays for your Social Security Benefits then I have every right to say, "Fuck you. I hate you, and if I find you in a dark alley you better pray you're faster than me."
There, I've said my piece on this topic. Go ahead and scream all you like. I enjoy the read. LOL!!