.."Critics have long feared that stimulants simply drug children into submission, turning youngsters into compliant robots with no will to engage in defiant behavior.But few studies have documented the effect of the drugs from the perspective of the children taking them.
So that’s what Ilina Singh of King’s College London and her colleagues did.
In the Voices on Identity, Childhood, Ethics and Stimulants (VOICES) study, they interviewed 151 American and British children aged 9 to 14 who were taking medication for ADHD between 2008 and 2010. Their conclusion? “On balance, children report that stimulant drugs improve their capacity for moral agency,” Singh writes, explaining that most felt the drugs allowed them to make better choices. As an American 11-year-old girl told the researchers, “With medication, it’s not that you’re a different person; you’re still the same person, but you just act a little better. Medication will help you control yourself.”
A ten-year-old American boy put it this way: “Medication slows my brain down and makes good ideas stay longer.” Another 10-year-old boy described his ADHD as a “blocker” that prevented him from going the right way. “[The medicine] opens the blocker so you can go [the right] way. But you still have the choice of going the wrong way,” he said.
.....The series of studies continue to add to our knowledge about ADHD, and how best to treat symptoms to help students reach their full potential, both academically and socially. But they also highlight the complexity of the condition and the role of environmental factors, not just biology. For those who definitely have the disorder and who do not have intolerable side effects from medication, the results are increasingly clear: stimulant medications don’t turn kids into zombies, but they may prevent crime— and not by suppressing choice, but by allowing freedom from destructive impulses. These drugs are far from a cure-all, but they are also not mere pacifiers..."
Via Lou Salza