Adoption of Behavioral Therapies in ADHD Treatment Instead Medication

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1429 Words
Date:  2021-03-24

Summary: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a mental-health disorder. ADHD is a combination of behavioral malfunctions such as hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and impulsiveness. ADHD symptoms get noticed in early childhood and the effects heighten as patients grow old. Apart from the hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and impulsiveness, ADHD has other effects on patients such as lack of sleep, anxiety, depression, among other psychological problems. In teens and children, ADHD inattentiveness that is characterized with distractions, forgetfulness, and limited attention span. On the other hand, ADHD causes hyperactivity among children. Hyperactivity becomes evident when the patients talking behavior, body movement, and poor decision making. Besides, ADHD causes carelessness, forgetfulness, irresponsibility, inability to focus, quick temper and restlessness. This policy review targets the nursing association and urges the stakeholders to adopt behavioral therapies as a model of treating ADHD effectively. As a result, the therapies will reduce the side effects that medications cause to the patients.

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Significance of the problem

Henshaw, S. P., & Ellison, K. (2016). ADHD: What everyone needs to know. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.

The source indicates that the frequency of ADHD diagnosis cases is skyrocketing in America and other nations. Youth diagnosis in America increased 40% from the amount recorded a decade ago. The rates are also rising among the adults. The source stresses that the disorder brings pain and disabling. On the other hand, the disease is expensive for the society. Increasing skepticism, misinformation and misconceived questions have inhibited the diagnosis and the subsequent treatment process

Existing approaches and pros and cons


Medication is the most used method of treating ADHD. However, medications do not permanently cure ADHD. However, research suggests that the use of the drugs drastically reduce the symptoms associated with ADHD. ADHD medications are prescribed on a daily basis or only when the patient needs concentration. However, it is recommended that the patient has treatment breaks so that they cannot the progress. Medications are purposed to increase the chances of a synapse between two neurotransmitters in the brain. The two, norepinephrine and dopamine are brain components responsible for transmissions of impulses regarding information to the brain. When there are no neurotransmitters, the intended information is not relayed to the intended destination. Therefore this results in the attention disorder.

Research revealed that stimulants are common for over prescriptions and under prescriptions. In the latest research on stimulants, the prescription number increased by 25% from 1998 to 2004 (Branstetter, 2016). With the growth in the number of prescriptions, under prescription is most likely to occur. It is believed that children receive prescriptions they do not need while others receive unnecessary treatment for that is not helpful for the conditions. Improper prescriptions lead to abuse of the medicines.

Powell, Shelagh, Frydenberg, Morten, & Thomsen, Per. (2015). The effects of long-term medication on growth in children and adolescents with ADHD: an observational study of a large cohort of real-life patients. (BioMed Central Ltd.) BioMed Central Ltd.

The book notes that youths and children affected with ADHD and treated with central stimulant experience growth problems. However, the extent of the impact on the height and stature of the patients is still unclear. In a study, 410 children and youths are selected for the survey. The sample was assessed for weight and height. Height and weight scales were converted to z-scores that were based on sex and age calibrated tables. The study found out that central stimulant drugs had an effect on the reduction of body weight and significantly halted growth. Also, the study recorded a lag after 72 months of the study about baseline values. The study concluded that ADHD medication with central stimulant impairs growth in adolescents and children. Therefore growth of the patients undergoing the medication should regularly be monitored when patients are at the chronic stage of the disorder. The following are the medications for ADHD patients and the side effects on the patients

Methylphenidate chloride

Methylphenidate(Quillivant XR) is a stimulant that improves the mental activities that control behavioral and attentive skills (Cheyette and Johnson, 2016). Besides, Methylphenidate is the trusted medicine for ADHD.

Methylphenidate is used by teenager and children above the age of seven. However, despite the fact that it is intended for children and teens, Methylphenidate can still be used by adults but under the physicians monitoring. On the other hand, Lisdexamfetamine is recommended for use when the effectiveness of methylphenidate diminishes.

However, despite the effectiveness of Methylphenidate, it poses some side effects. Research has indicated that continued use of Methylphenidate results in a mild blood pressure increment and consequently increases heart beat rate. This condition if not checked can lead to some major problems. Furthermore, other side effects include weight loss due to reduced appetite, headaches, mood swings, nausea, dizziness, stomachaches, and lack of sleep.


Dexamphetamine is another stimulant used to treat ADHD. It almost functions the same way as Methylphenidate in that it focuses on the parts of the brains that right behavior and attention (Kirk, 2016). However, Dexamphetamine can still be used by children under the age of seven. On the other hand, it can also help the adults who have ADHD under the guidance of specialists.

Dexamphetamine also records some side effects to the patients including, mood swings, and lack of appetite, anxiety, dizziness, diarrhea, and headaches.


Lisdexamfetamine is another medicine that is used by ADHD patients. It is similar to Dexamphetamine both in its functions and appearance. Lisdexamfetamine is used as a substitute to methylphenidate. It is mostly preferred when methylphenidate gets less efficient on the children. However, the children can continue using the medicine into adulthood if directed by the specialist.

This medicine is a capsule that is taken by both the adult and children once in a day.

However, Lisdexamfetamine poses some side effects to the patients. In most cases, the side effects include diarrhea, dizziness, weight loss, aggression, headaches, drowsiness, nausea, and loss of appetite.

Selected Option

Therapy has been noted as the most successful method of ADHD treatment along with the additional problems associated with the disorder. Therapies have turned out to be effective because they have minimal side effects as compared to other methods of treatment such as medication, dieting, and use of supplements.

Coles, E., & Pelham, W. E. (2015). The effect of the behavioral intervention on the need for adjunctive medication treatment in children with ADHD. Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest, LLC

The source is a journal and explains the study which was conducted to find out the implications of behavioral interventions as a method of ADHD treatment in both home and school settings. On the other hand, the study was aimed at evaluating the prescription of medication required to compliment the ongoing behavioral therapies in home and schools settings in children. In the study, 127 children who were not under medication but suffering from ADHD were randomly selected. The patients were then categorized to either, low, no, or high chance of behavioral consultations. The children were subjected to weekly assessment to find out if medication by treatment with central stimulants was to be initiated. The evaluation was undertaken separately both in the home and school setting. When there was a need for medication treatment in the home and school setting, the children started receiving the medication. The study assessed outcomes such as duration to initiation of the drug, total dose of medication, and the child, teacher, patient. This is the factors that might influence the outcomes of the study. The study found out that the patients who underwent behavioral consultations at schools and homes adopted medication treatment later in the year. Additionally, in the home setting, the patients most likely adopted medication when there were no behavioral consultations than when it was available. This research demonstrates that behavioral therapies are the suitable interventions for ADHD patients.


Branstetter, R. (2016). The conscious parent's guide to ADHD: A mindful approach for helping your child gain focus and self-control.

Cheyette, S., Johnson, P., & Cheyette, B. (2016). ADHD & the focused mind: A guide to giving your ADHD child focus, discipline & self-confidence

Coles, E., & Pelham, W. E. (2015). The effect of the behavioral intervention on the need for adjunctive medication treatment in children with ADHD. Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest, LLC.

Henshaw, S. P., & Ellison, K. (2016). ADHD: What everyone needs to know. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.

Kirk, H. W. (2016). Restoring the brain: Neurofeedback as an integrative approach to health.

Powell, Shelagh, Frydenberg, Morten, & Thomsen, Per. (2015). The effects of long-term medication on growth in children and adolescents with ADHD: an observational study of a large cohort of real-life patients. (BioMed Central Ltd.) BioMed Central Ltd.

Schwarz, A. (2016). ADHD nation: Children, doctors, big pharma, and the making of an American epidemic.

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Adoption of Behavioral Therapies in ADHD Treatment Instead Medication. (2021, Mar 24). Retrieved from

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