Apparently, some people are just starting to wonder if drugging children up to the eyeballs might not be the very best idea.
Drugs given to thousands of hyperactive children have no long-term benefits and could in fact be stunting their development, a major study has said.
The study of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) found that, while powerful drugs such as Ritalin and Concerta resulted in short-term behavioural improvements, after three years those benefits had disappeared.
Children who took the drugs for the full three years were also found to have stunted growth, according to the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD (MTA).
The MTA has followed 600 children in the United States with ADHD since the 1990s and has just published its latest findings. Prof William Pelham, co-author, from the University of Buffalo, said: "They weren't growing as much as other kids both in terms of their height and their weight.
"There were no beneficial effects - none. In the short run medication will help the child behave better, in the long run it won't.
"That information should be made very clear to parents."
Ritalin (methylphenidate) and other such drugs used to treat ADHD are, in fact, a type of amphetamine, or "speed". In Britain, speed is a Class A controlled drug for the obvious reason that it's pretty fucking strong and can have some slightly disturbing side effects.
One of the side effects is that amphetamines are an appetite-suppressant. Now, childrens' bodies are growing at a reasonable rate and they need to have an ample supply of food in order to provide the materials to allow them to grow.
If a load of children don't have enough food, they will not grow as much as other children. And if you feed a load of children appetite-suppressants, then they aren't going to want to eat a load of fucking food.
Why the fuck is anyone surprised at the finding that those who are regularly dosed with amphetamines aren't "growing as much as other kids both in terms of their height and their weight"?