Concentration on a specific task can be difficult for children and modern healthcare is rushing to create solutions. ADHD is a disease that includes symptoms like inattentiveness, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and diagnoses is on the rise.
From 2003 until 2011 the percentage of children diagnosed with ADHD increased from 7.8% to 11%. Today, there are approximately 6% of the child population that are using ADHD medication. This increase isn’t related to more children having a difficult time focusing, but instead more medications being prescribed and sold.
Given most of the ADHD medications are amphetamine-based products, this is a frightful trend for any parent who has children diagnosed with the disorder. Luckily, there are ways to treat ADHD without medications that cause long-term damage.
What Amphetamine Based Drugs do to the Brain
Before providing some natural treatments for ADHD, here are some of the main side effects of amphetamine-based drugs on the brain.
Drugs like Adderall have significant withdrawal symptoms, which are exacerbated for children. Many feel grumpy, sad, or even depressed when they stop using these drugs for a day because their brain chemistry has had too much “dopamine”, a brain chemical associated with happiness.
Also, amphetamine based drugs reduce appetite, increase blood pressure, and sometimes lead to heart palpitations. It can reduce quality of sleep as well, which is disastrous for a growing child.
Finally, the long-term use of amphetamine-based drugs can make it virtually impossible for a child to live free from them. Even though these drugs are meant to treat ADHD, if used too long they can contribute to even greater symptoms of the disorder.
Natural Alternatives & Nutrition
To avoid all of the health traps we outlined above, there are some natural alternatives for children to use. Many of these can work together to solve symptoms of ADHD, but there are very few Adderall alternatives that have the potency of an amphetamine-based drug. These solutions may not be as effective, but they will be helpful nonetheless.
L-Theanine – This is an amino acid found primarily in tea leaves. It is responsible for increase alpha brain waves, which are associated with greater cognitive function. By itself, it can reduce hyperactivity and improves sleep quality in children with ADHD. For older children, the combination of L-theanine and caffeine increases focus better than either alone. It may not be as strong as an amphetamine, but it is a powerful concentration booster.
Mucuna Pruriens – This is a plant from Africa, which is used to create a chemical compound called dopamine. Amphetamine creates too much dopamine to help with focus, but mucuna pruriens is a more natural option that is safer and more sustainable for kids.
Magnesium – This essential nutrient is a common deficiency in the western world. Children with ADHD were noted to have a magnesium deficiency on average, which means you should seek supplementation to protect your children. There are many types of this nutrient, but buy magnesium glycinate as it is the most absorbed.
Reversing Effects of Amphetamines
Many parents understandably believe the diagnosis of their doctor and use amphetamine-based drugs to treat ADHD. If your child has already used or is still using them, there are a few ways you can reverse the effects.
- Rhodiola Rosea – This is an herb native to Russia, Scandinavia and other high-altitude parts of the world. It is considered an “adaptogen”, which means it helps the body to adapt from stressors. Withdrawing from amphetamine-based drugs, such as Adderall, can be a stressor for the body and rhodiola can help.
- Sweating – One common side effect of leaving amphetamines is a decrease in mood. Getting active and exercising helps to create chemicals called endorphins, which increase mood and help children to recover from amphetamine use.
- Social engagements – humans are social animals. Interaction with other humans helps children to create feel-good chemicals, such as oxytocin and dopamine, which are needed for a brain recovering after ADHD medication.
With these natural solutions and a few recovery options, your children should be able to handle ADHD in a more effective way. As a parent, you will have peace of mind that treating your children via natural and sustainable means will not cause them long-term ill-health.
I’m not a doctor, please discuss these alternative methods with a doctor before using them.