One of the diagnostics we use in Chinese medicine is looking at the tongue. After a decade or so of looking at many tongues a day (and first having been trained by Chinese doctors) you get pretty good at learning from the condition of the tongue. What I am getting at in this post is that I can tell if a kid or young person has been taking ADD or ADHD drugs for an extended time by looking at their tongue. The reason is that these pharmaceuticals are forms of speed! And speed dries out the body, producing inflammation and a red or even crimson red tongue often with cracks (heat dries, dryness cracks). Inflammation contributes to so many acute and chronic health problems. Of course we would never want our kids to take speed bought on the street. But these drugs are literally legalized speed. So, probably not a great idea. And, another problem is that these drugs are often abused because they can help students stay up for days studying for exams or writing a paper for instance. I have treated patients that abuse these drugs and are essentially drug addicts. And there are studies that show that kids who are raised on Ritalin or Adderall are more likely to abuse other drugs later in life. Like street speed these drugs produce a mild high, and its tough to get kids to give that up. There must be a better way.
Monte Jackson, owner Acupuncture Center of Richmond