General News

CHADD Gets Big Financial Support From ADHD Drug Makers

It Doesn’t Take A Brain Surgeon To Figure Out Why.

An article in yesterday’s Denver Post fails to disclose the substantial financial ties between a group that pushes for the acceptance of so-called “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder” (ADHD) and the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the drugs prescribed for it.

The organization, Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), has been severely criticized by both the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for its financial ties to the manufacturers of ADHD drugs.  (For more information on these ties, see CCHR International’s report, “Marketing ‘Disorders’ to Sell Drugs.”)

Direct pharmaceutical financial support of CHADD in the year ending June 30, 2009, the latest year for which CHADD has provided data online, totaled $1,174,626, or 27% of the organization’s budget.  The drug companies providing this money included Eli Lilly, McNeil, Novartis, and Shire US – all makers of ADHD drugs.

 ADHD Drug Manufacturers Supply 36% of CHADD Revenues

Additionally, the drug companies paid another $412,500 to CHADD in sales and advertising.  Thus, the total financial support of CHADD by the drug manufacturers was $1.6 million, or 36% of total revenues.  Why all this financial support?

Pharmaceutical companies have slick marketing plans for selling psychiatric drugs.  They create new “disorders,” as well as elevate the seriousness of existing “disorders,” with the goal of worrying normal people that they are worse off than they thought they were and need treatment – with drugs.  Support groups such as CHADD forward the drug companies’ aim of gaining acceptance of these “disorders.”  (For more information on the psycho-pharmaceutical industry’s plans, you can view CCHR International’s DVD, “The Marketing of Madness,” online here.)

CHADD continues to falsely claim that ADHD is a “neurobiological disorder” when there is no valid, conclusive scientific proof of this.  In fact, no such claim is made in the 1999 Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health, in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), by the National Institutes of Health, or in the American Academy of Pediatrics Clinical Practice Guideline for ADHD.  Even Clarke Ross, CEO of CHADD for the 10 years through 2010, is quoted by The Washington Times Insight Magazine as saying about ADHD:  “It really is a matter of belief.”

ADHD remains merely a subjective list of behaviors, which became a “mental disorder” in 1987 when members of the American Psychiatric Association voted it into existence so psychiatrists could bill insurance for treating it.  That same year, CHADD was formed.  With large-scale financial support from the pharmaceutical companies, the number of CHADD chapters exploded.

 ADHD Drugs May Cause Dangerous Side Effects

Common ADHD drugs are amphetamines – highly addictive and 10 times more likely than other prescription drugs to be linked to violence.  The FDA warns that ADHD drugs can cause heart attacks, strokes and sudden death.  There are no long-term studies on the safety and effectiveness of ADHD drugs.  (Research studies, warnings from international regulatory authorities, and reports to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the harmful side effects of ADHD and other psych drugs can be accessed through CCHR International’s psychiatric drug side effects search engine.)

WARNING: Anyone wishing to discontinue ADHD drugs or other psychiatric drugs is cautioned to do so only under the supervision of a competent medical doctor because of potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

If you or someone you know has been harmed by taking an ADHD drug or other psychiatric drug, we want to talk to you.  You can contact us privately by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.  We welcome your comments on this article below.


General News Schools

“ADHD” Just Keeps Getting Busted: Study Finds Changes In Diet Alone Calmed Two Out Of Three Antsy Kids

Image by Junior Libby

A new study by Dutch researchers confirms what many parents have already discovered:  changes in diet can have a profoundly calming effect on a child’s behavior.  The study, reported last month in The Lancet, found that for two-thirds of the children studied, changes in diet alone led to the elimination of the fidgety behavior so profitably labeled by psychiatrists as “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder,“ or ADHD.

In no uncertain terms, the study’s lead author underscores diet as the main cause of ADHD.  “After the diet [was changed], they were just normal children with normal behavior. They were no longer more easily distracted, they were no more forgetful, there were no more temper-tantrums,” Dr. Lidy Pelsser said in an interview with NPR.  About the teachers and doctors who worked with children in the study and witnessed the marked changes in behavior, she said, “In fact, they were flabbergasted.”

CCHR has long advocated giving children with behavioral problems a complete physical exam by a non-psychiatric physician, as well as a nutritional evaluation by a qualified nutritionist, to discover any underlying physical or nutritional conditions causing behavioral difficulties.  Parents should also make sure that proper instructional solutions are being applied for any behavioral problems in the classroom, since children’s disruptive behavior can result from not fully understanding, and consequently falling behind in, or not being properly challenged by, their schoolwork.

By 2007, some 5.4 million children in the U.S., or 9.5% of all children ages 4-17, had at some time been labeled with the made-up “mental disorder” known as ADHD, according to figures from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).  In Colorado, 7.6% of kids got the label; in Wyoming, 9.1%.  CDC figures show that boys are more than twice as likely to be labeled with it than girls.  (See Psychiatry: Labeling Kids with Bogus Mental Disorders).

Far more disturbing than the number of kids given this harmful and bogus label is the fact that nearly 3 million of them  – some 27,000 in Colorado and 5,000 in Wyoming – have been put on powerful  stimulant drugs that endanger their lives.   Categorized as Schedule ll drugs by the U.S.  Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and in the same class as cocaine, opium and morphine, ADHD drugs are highly addictive.  These drugs are also known to increase heart risks more than twofold and cause heart attacks, strokes, serious arrhythmias and sudden death in children.  Because of this, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires its most stringent, “black box” warning on ADHD (methylphenidate) drugs.   The drugs are also known to cause hallucinations, convulsions, suicidal thoughts and violent behavior in children.  (For more studies and international warnings on ADD/ADHD drugs, go to CCHR International’s psychiatric drug side effects search engine, and for more information on documented side effects of psychiatric drugs in children, watch “Drugging Our Children – Side Effects”.)

For the failed practice of psychiatry, the revolving-door prescribing of these drugs for rambunctious and inattentive kids — despite the increased risks to these children – is a profitable business plan.  There are no lab tests, brain scans, or any other medical tests that can prove the existence of anything called “ADHD.”  The label is merely the subjective opinion of a psychiatric practitioner with a conflict of interest (profit motive), since he can bill Medicaid or private insurance companies for “managing” the “disorder” by writing prescriptions for years to come.

Indeed, a recent New York Times article detailed how psychiatrists now resort almost exclusively to psychiatric drugging because it is fast and profitable.   According to the article, a psychiatrist can earn $150 for three 15-minute patient visits for drug prescriptions compared with $90 for a 45-minute talk therapy session.  As one psychiatrist admitted, “I had to train myself not to get too interested in their problems.” No wonder a study reported several years ago in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found that 90% of children visiting a psychiatrist for the first time left the office with one or more prescriptions for psychiatric drugs.

If a psychiatrist or other mental health practitioner has told you that any brain scan proves that your child has ADD or ADHD, or if your child has suffered side effects from taking any ADD/ADHD drug, or if any teacher has recommended or required that you put your child on ADHD drugs (which is illegal in Colorado: see “Protecting Your Children: Colorado Law Prohibits School Personnel From Recommending Psychiatric Drugs”), we want to talk to you.  Please contact us at 303-789-5225 or report the details of your experience here.


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