Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Study links ADHD medications and reduced crimes
Perpetuating mental-health stereotypes
While “Study links ADHD medications and reduced crimes” [Health, Nov. 22] contributes important findings regarding benefits of medication for ADHD treatment, it also perpetuates stereotypes of people with mental-health issues as dangerous to society and fails to provide a context with which to interpret such dramatic outcomes.
Endless studies demonstrate links between social, economic, educational and racial inequality and risk factors for criminal activity. The environmental and social context of a person’s life must be considered when looking at links between mental-health diagnoses and criminal activity. Without such a holistic lens, the study’s findings promote a one-size-fits-all solution to the problem of treatment for ADHD.
The study does make an important point regarding the challenges of medication adherence and the need for effective family interventions for families who may be having trouble with a teen who refuses to take medication. This study does support evidence promoting effective and consistent care for children, adolescents and adults with ADHD. Effective therapeutic and psychotropic services can assist diagnosed children to succeed in school and move into adulthood with opportunities, confidence and the skills needed for a healthy, productive and crime-free life.
— Sara Green, Seattle