The answer is not as complicated as you might suppose.
There's no question that some kids with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder require medication in order to hit educational goals. Their brains are just so hyperactive that without a doctor's prescription for Adderall, Vyvnase the wide sea and the sea, Ritalin or a variant of those prescription drugs, they would not be able to muster enough concentration to get their studies done.
As parents struggle to get their kids an upper hand in the competitive scholastic environment, some, who can afford it, take their kids to specialists, in an effort to get their kids a diagnosis of ADHD. In our drug addled society many of these doctors bend over backwards to accommodate their paying patients.
You may wonder why having that diagnosis provides an advantage in a competitive school environment.
The answer to that question not complicated.
Kids with hyperactivity disorders are often given more time to complete tests that determine, not only their grades, but also admission to college. These psychoactive drugs are effective in normal children, granting them the ability to concentrate longer, and learn with more specificity than they might do without this artificial boost. Clearly, normal or near normal kids taking these drugs have an advantage over children, adolescents, and college-age students who do not have access to them.
When one considers performance-enhancing drug use in sports, it's often called doping. That leaves me wondering if some of our children are actually doping for school.
Steriods What to Look For In Your Child
When adolescent changes appear to spurt ahead at warp speed, parents should consider whether or not their teenager is taking steroids. Unfortunately this over-simplification doesn't always work, because kids mature at different times, at different rates, and sometimes even under differing social environments, with competitive sports and “looking good” often in the mix.
Puberty is due to a perfectly balanced steroid storm. Both testosterone and estrogen are natural hormones, based biochemically on a steroidal structural backbone, and they are responsible for the development of secondary sex characteristics and behaviors. Actually, at all stages of our lives, and no matter what our gender, we run a delicate balance between both sex hormones, albeit at lower levels, and to different results.
Some teenagers take large doses of testosterone-like substances for their anabolic or bodybuilding properties. As your teenage boy or daughter first experiments with anabolic steroids their early “masculinizing” effects may be so subtle as to be easily confused with the normal course of adolescent maturation.
In extreme cases the signs become difficult to miss, unless you turn a blind eye. The in-between phases, determining what constitutes normal and abnormal maturation, is where parents become confused. Here, acknowledging the social context becomes very important and parental guilt or other conflicts may suppress these important clues.
Novice steroid users find it difficult to conceal effects like major muscular bulking-up, extreme mood changes (‘roid rage), severe acne, excessive growth of male breasts, and a host of other male hormone-modulated changes. Persistent late changes in boys can include short stature due to fusion of bone growth plates and testicular atrophy. In girls, deepened voices and other male characteristics can occur.
Harvey has been an award winning TV commentator, researcher, author, mayor of Del Mar, and is an avid cyclist. He served as a Doping Control Officer in Utah's 2002 Winter Olympics and lives in Park City and San Diego.