A group of 48 pediatricians and researchers warn of a strong increase in the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) and the use of medication for the treatment of Quebec children.
They call for a collective challenge for parents, teachers, psychologists and doctors involved in the decision-making process to treat or not a child with behavioral problems.
In an open letter, health experts have complained that the whole society "is too easy to turn into a pill to treat all diseases."
To support their alarm cry, health specialists rely especially on data from the National Institute for Excellence in Health and Social Services (INESSS) that show that the rates of prevalence of drug consumption for the treatment of ADHD is much higher in Quebec than in the rest of Canada.
Between 10-12 years old, 13.97 percent of young people use psycho-stimulant drugs in Quebec. A rate rising to 14.5 per cent among 13-17 year-olds. In the rest of the country, the rates for the same age groups are only 5.08 percent, and 4.3 percent, respectively.
»Styles of the party: Marie-Mai, Kim Russk and other stars talk about their ADHD
»Concerns about the mental health of young people in Quebec
»BLOG The story of the famous Ritalin
For pediatrician Dr. Guy Falardo, the danger of prescribing any wind is to want to correct the behavior of the child from the drug, rather than taking the time to look for other reasons related to mental health, the emotions of the child. child or his social environment.
"The child has a problem with behavior, we want to call it ADHD and give him a remedy to ask why he behaves so," he says, pointing out that anxiety is gaining in our society, both in adults and in children.
"The danger is in some cases to be treated with real ADHD, but in other cases, we mask a mental health problem, insists that one who treats many teenagers who are struggling with these problems.
Dr. Falardeau warns that by masking these anxiety or other disorders by the psychostimulant, we just postpone the moment of an explosion of the problem. And often, it becomes more difficult to act when mental illness has time to progress.
"What we want is for children to be properly evaluated. Those who have emotional, emotional, social problems, we have to solve these problems and not change the behavior of the child with drugs," said a pediatrician based in Quebec.
"A school affair"
Parents consulted by the Canadian press all claimed that children's medication was primarily a "school affair".
As soon as he entered school, Eric's son did not stay. Soon, the parents were aware of the problem and were advised to think about the drug.
"We were not under pressure, but we felt we had to do something," he recalls.
After several consultations, the diagnosis of ADHD fell and the drug was followed. However, the pill works only during the school day. In the evening and at weekends, the child does not take medication and works well enough.
"Of course you need to adjust, but he moves, he plays sports," explains the father, who questions the fact that children do not consume enough energy at school.
The same story with Claudia, whose daughter was diagnosed with an attention deficit disorder without hyperactivity. In the case of her daughter, a small medication under a minimum dose was sufficient to improve concentration in the classroom and her grades jumped.
However, the young mother is surprised by the ease with which the drug can be accessed. She also regrets that she sees the school system harassing children who need to move.
"They are 27 years old in the fifth-class class of my daughter, including a child who is isolated facing the wall," she says, adding that she does not understand how children can be expected to learn. in these conditions.