ADHD Fraud: Poisoning Children

Excerpted from an interview in and titled, "Neurologist Dr. Fred Baughman talks about the fraud of ADHD and the poisoning of U.S. children"

Dr. Baughman: In the area of child psychiatric drugs, the main focus has been the recently commenced FDA hearings, which pertain to reports of death, strokes and heart attacks in children and adults. The first report concerning Adderall came out about a year ago. Adderall is the number one ADHD drug, and that report dealt with 12 or so individuals that were said to have had strokes, if you can imagine a stroke occurring in a young child. Some were sudden deaths and others were heart complications, and a total of 20 to 30 such reports lead Health Canada to take Adderall off the market.

Mike: Now these records are through the voluntary MedWatch system, correct?

Dr. Baughman: Exactly, which the FDA explains in a booklet about the mechanics of MedWatch and other similar voluntary reporting schemes. They confessed that such schemes ordinarily identify no more than one percent of actual occurrences. So at any rate, there we had that occurrence about a year ago with Health Canada taking Adderall off the market and our FDA not taking Adderall off the market. Subsequently, we learned our FDA lobbied Health Canada behind-the-scenes not to take it off the market.

Mike: That is unbelievable. The FDA applied pressure to foreign nations to protect dangerous drugs in our own market.

Dr. Baughman: Yes, it's just that. Then about three or four months ago, Health Canada put Adderall back on the market. It wasn't because they had any good evidence of its safety or effectiveness. Adderall is a mixture of the two salts of amphetamine, so it's a pure amphetamine. The fascinating thing about Adderall is that it was a weight reduction drug for adults called Obetrol. It's was so extremely addictive that Obetrol was taken off the market for that reason. Now we have the FDA bringing this extraordinarily addictive drug to market for little children.

Mike: So it was too dangerous for adults but not unsafe for children.

Dr. Baughman: In fact, they are bringing it to market for entirely normal little children said to have the illusory, bogus disease called ADHD.

Mike: For those reading, you're a pediatric neurologist correct?

Dr. Baughman: Yes, and I practiced both adult and child neurology, board-certified in both. I have been a long-standing fellow of the American Academy of Neurology.

Mike: ... At what point as a pediatric neurologist did you begin to see something was wrong with this picture?

Baughman: .it was during the 70s that I began to notice, first in Grand Rapids and then here in San Diego where I relocated, the increasing frequency of the burst of diagnoses of hyperactivity and brain damage. Then in 1980, the American Psychiatric Association invented ADD, or attention deficit disorder, and with that the epidemic seemed to worsen. It appeared to me that the frequency of such diagnoses and their treatment with Ritalin, an amphetamine-like drug every bit as addictive as cocaine, were increasing in my community. At first I took note and later became alarmed at the frequency with which children were being referred to me by schools through their physician with these diagnostic labels put in place, basically by schoolteachers.

Dr. Baughman: Let me tell you something. In a 2002 survey done by the American Academy Of Child and Adult Psychiatry, they looked at the surveying practices of child psychiatrists and found that 91 percent of children seeing child psychiatrists came out of their initial visit with a prescription for a drug.

Mike: Ninety-one percent?

Dr. Baughman: Ninety-one percent. I would say that a third to a half of all the patients I saw as a neurologist had no organic disease. Now contrast that with this 2002 study survey of child psychiatry, where 91 percent are coming away with a prescription. Were the 90 percent commonsense parents? Most likely.

Mike: Well, I think it's obvious that you have experienced the idea that when you operate with integrity in this world, it can be a pretty lonely path. Now let's talk about poisoning and the long-term implications. What happens to Americans when one out of five children grow up on speed or some other kind of psychiatric drug?

Dr. Baughman: Well, we are at that number clearly. We are drugging well over 10 million. There is no sign that it's getting better. I pointed out that ADHD in adults is a rapidly growing market sector, so I think when you are told you've got a disease and you are in fact normal, you are damaged just by the label. When you are given a drug to normalize an abnormality in your body or brain that doesn't exist, that's poisoning and you are going to be damaged by that drug every single time. So the side effect rate for Ritalin or for Adderall is 100 percent. There is no kid that gets put on these drugs that isn't altered by them. Their perceptions, behaviors, feelings and emotions are always changed and not always noticeably. They are always altered and there are horrible long-term consequences that we can't begin to know.

Mike: What long-term side effects have you heard of?

Dr. Baughman: I mentioned before that Health Canada found that there were roughly 20 to 30 cases of strokes in young children, roughly 10 or 12 sudden deaths, heart abnormalities. Just before the Feb. 9 FDA hearing, there were 51 reported cases of complications, deaths, strokes and heart attacks reported to the FDA MedWatch program. I have written testimony on the record for the Feb. 9 FDA conference. In fact, back in the 1990s, I testified in a Kansas City case for Mr. Gary Bell on behalf of his daughter Stephanie. She underwent heart surgery for what I think was a complication of her long-term Ritalin use. At any rate, Gary Bell and I did a freedom of information request for all the deaths and injuries related to Ritalin or methylphenidate, and for 1990-1997 there were 160 deaths from methylphenidate Ritalin. There were another 26 deaths for 1998 to 2000, 186 deaths for the decade.

Mike: Again, these are only voluntary reports.

Dr. Baughman: These are voluntary reporting schemes to MedWatch, 1 percent of actual incidents the FDA says. That means there may have been 18,600 for that decade. I have personally been consulted in about a dozen death cases, including Matthew Smith of Royal Oak, Michigan, which is just outside of Detroit. He and his parents had been coerced to stay on Ritalin from first grade to age 13. He suddenly fell over while playing with friends and died. At autopsy, his heart muscle was diffusely enlarged, scarred and infiltrated with fat. The medical examiner, Dr. Drakovic, a highly experienced pathologist, said there was no doubt in his mind that Matthew Smith died of long-term chronic amphetamine methylphenidate Ritalin poisoning.

Mike: So we have a population that is potentially setting themselves up for long-term death and harm just like drug addicts?

Dr. Baughman: Yes. Reports that young athletes, college and high school athletes suddenly drop dead are not uncommon. There was a pro ball player, I think a pitcher on the Baltimore Orioles, who had been on supplements that contained ephedrine, which is very similar to the amphetamines. My feeling is that steroid use and amphetamine use is very, very common in athletes at the high school level and up. I think every one of those deaths is conceivably related to psychiatric drugs, most of which have startling coronary cardiac heart consequences. Not just amphetamines, but all of these so-called antipsychotics, which are horrible poisons the pharmaceutical industry is hoisting upon the population. Almost all those drugs have cardiac side effects as well.