The ADHD Explosion: Myths, Medication, Money and Today's Push for Performance

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most controversial and misunderstood medical conditions today.  Skyrocketing rates of diagnosis and medication treatment have generated a firestorm of controversy.  Alarming questions have been raised about ADHD in recent years, including: Why are one in nine children and adolescents in the U.S. now diagnosed with ADHD, with projected rates still rising? Why are nearly 70% of those diagnosed with ADHD prescribed medication? What is causing the fast-rising diagnosis and medication of adults?  What happens when over a quarter of all college students use stimulants for academic performance? What is driving the ADHD explosion—parents, doctors, schools, culture, the healthcare system, or Big Pharma?  And will it end?

Stephen Hinshaw, a distinguished psychologist, and Richard Scheffler, an eminent health economist, uniquely blend clinical wisdom, current science, medical and school policy, health economics, and global trends to debunk myths and set the record straight in The ADHD Explosion.  They describe the origins of ADHD and its huge costs to society; the science behind its causes as well as medication and behavioral treatment; and the major variation in diagnosis and treatment across the U.S.  Dealing directly with stimulants as “smart pills,” they describe the epidemic of medicalization, arguing that accurate diagnosis and well-monitored care could ease the staggering economic burden linked to ADHD. 

In innovative ways, they unravel the many poignant issues facing children, teachers, clinicians, and family members who contend with ADHD each day.  The recommendations they make can improve the quality of life for those touched by ADHD and potentially improve the productivity and safety of all society.

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