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Shauntae Gregory

I chose to construct a prescription pill bottle because my campaign for the overall
project is Put Down the Pills, and I feel that this will provide a relevant visual aid. It will
draw my audiences attention and it completely relates to the topic. The pill bottle is a
representation of the prescriptions I am hoping to get ADHD patients to stray away from. I
am trying to reach out to several different perspectives as far as audiences. When finished
with my presentation, I hope to have persuaded the person who was neutral and didnt care
about the medicine or the alternatives, but just wanted a method of control, as well as the
people for and against the alternatives. The audience needs a method of control to the
disorder and that is what I am here to provide.
ADHD is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. ADHD is characterized by a
behavioral disorder that causes the subject to have a short attention span. The symptoms of
ADHD include, but are not limited to: Hyperactivity, difficulty controlling behavior, and lack
of attention and ability to focus (1). People with ADHD are born with it. It is a medical
disorder. Anybody can have ADHD. It is genetic. However, it is not sex-linked but
autosomal. It can be controlled, but scientists have not yet been able to find a total cure. This
disadvantage has to do with the dopamine levels in your brain. It occurs when the levels are
lower than normal. ADHD occurs as a result of fluctuation of dopamine levels in the brain.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter. A neurotransmitter is a chemical sent through nerve cells to
provide a specific function in the body. Dopamine receptors contribute to many functions
however the most prominent are: pleasure and motivation. Scientists also believe that since
dopamine plays a role in motivation, depending on the levels, in the individual's brain it leads
the person to be either a "slacker" or a "go-getter"(2). Scientists at the National Institute of
Mental Health conducted an experiment were they injected two groups of adults with
radioactive glucose. One group classified as hyperactive and the other as normal
(Armstrong 5). The injection helped to prove ADHD as a medical disorder. The group with

Shauntae Gregory

ADHD is labeled as having abnormal brains (Armstrong 4). There was less metabolism
found in the prefrontal lobes of the hyperactive group (Armstrong 4). The frontal lobe of
the brain controls attention and motor activity. This helped to prove ADHD a real disorder, as
well.
ADHD medication is often over prescribed to adults, as well as children. Sometimes,
lack of maturity can be mistaken for this disorder. Research shows that men tend to be
diagnosed over women. This fact seems to correlate with maturity because we know that
men mature slower than women. There have been plenty of cases where a child has been
diagnosed with ADHD at a very young age. How can we know if a child is hyperactive if all
children should be energetic? Again, this correlates with immaturity (3). Scientists
interviewed a group of ADHD kids individually to ask how they felt when on their
medications. The medications actually stunt the growth of children diagnosed with ADHD.
This causes them to be thinner and shorter than the other children (Adams). The drugs also
impacts brain growth. When an MRI test was done on children with the disorder, results
unveiled they were up to three years behind in development from other children (Adams).
Adderall and Ritalin are the most popular drugs prescribed to help with ADHD.
However, there are side effects for both of these that hurt people later on in life, if not
presently. Adderall causes loss of appetite, mood swings, anxiety, and problems sleeping (4).
This drug can also increase the chance of heart and cardiovascular issues. Ritalin can
potentially lead to tachycardia (increased heartbeat), abdominal issues, chest pains, anxiety,
and more (5). Nonetheless, when taken off these medications, many patients suffer from
withdrawal symptoms. In addition to all of these side effects, it may also affect memory.
Look at your child. Do you want to watch them endure this, when it can all be avoided by
not taking the medicine?

Shauntae Gregory

The first alternative to ADHD medication is diet. Many people are not aware that
certain foods and food coloring increase hyperactivity. Red and yellow food coloring are
believed to increase hyperactivity. The ADHD patient should consume food with omega-3,
such as nuts and fish. In addition, eating healthy meals instead of fatty and sugary foods will
also help inhibit hyperactivity (6). One of the biggest influential factors in the life of an
ADHD child is their diet. Incorporating a good amount of protein into their diet is the best
way to go. Proteins helps to increase concentration. This includes plenty of meat, eggs, and
dairy products.
The second alternative to ADHD medication is exercise. Exercise helps keep the
ADHD brain focused. Furthermore, exercise is good for the body overall and another plus:
it's completely free! (7)
In conclusion, the side effects of ADHD medication have been proven to be worse
than the disorder itself. The alternatives are much safer, healthier, and more cost effective.

Shauntae Gregory

Bibliography:
1) http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/attention-deficit-hyperactivitydisorder/index.shtml?rf=71264
2) http://psychcentral.com/news/2007/08/07/dopamine-influences-adhd/1107.html
3) http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/ccp/80/1/128/
4) http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/childhood-adhd/food-dye-adhd
5) http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-63163/adderall-oral/details#
6) http://www.drugs.com/sfx/ritalin-side-effects.htmloral/details#side-effects
7) http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/3142.html
8) http://www.naturalnews.com/023334_child_children_brain.html
9) Armstrong, Thomas : ADD/ADHD alternatives in the classroom