Does Taking ADHD Drugs Lead to Bully Victimization?

Sunday, December 6, 2015

According to this article from Fox News' website, children taking ADHD medication have an increased risk of being bullied. Bullying is a serious problem and I am not going to argue with the article or the study behind it about whether or not bullying is happening. However, I will pose the question of why should taking ADHD medication lead to an increased chance of being bullied? The article cites a number of theories, including that children taking ADHD medications might be prone to more behavioral problems or that the medications themselves cause behavioral problems. Although each of these theories may have some merit, I find it troubling that the article suggests other children were pressuring the kids in the study to give away or sell their ADHD meds. 

Why on earth should other kids even be aware of the fact that the kids in the study were taking ADHD medication? Also, why did the children in the study  have open access to their pill bottles filled with ADHD meds, most of which are DEA-controlled substances? To me, this very notion seems to defy all logic and common sense. And what about confidentiality? Why should other kids know that a classmate is taking ADHD meds in the first place? 

Bottom line: I think the very fact the classmates of the kids involved in this study were aware they were taking DEA-controlled medications naturally sets them up for being bullied and harassed. In my opinion this biases the article and underlying study to the point the findings may not even be scientifically valid. That doesn't mean the article isn't interesting and shouldn't teach us all a lesson. Namely, it is no other kid's business who in her or his class is diagnosed with ADHD and taking DEA-controlled medication. Period.