Book: The ADHD Explosion

Book Title:

The ADHD Explosion: Myths, Medication, Money, and Today’s Push for Performance.

Author(s): Stephen P. Hinshaw and Richard M. Scheffler.

Year: 2014.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Oxford University Press.

Type(s): Hardcover and Kindle.


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most controversial and misunderstood medical conditions today.

With skyrocketing rates of diagnosis and medication treatment, it has generated a firestorm of controversy.

Alarming questions have been raised about ADHD in recent years:

  • Why are over 10% of children and adolescents in the US now diagnosed with ADHD, with projected rates quickly rising?
  • Why do over two-thirds of those diagnosed with ADHD receive medication?
  • In some southern states, why are boys diagnosed at rates of almost one in three?
  • What is causing the fast-rising diagnosis and medication of adults? Why are over a quarter of all college students using stimulants for academic performance?
  • What drives the current ADHD “tsunami” – is it parents, clinicians, schools, culture, the healthcare system, or Big Pharma? When will it end?
  • Can we trust the stories we read and hear about ADHD, even in major media outlets?

The ADHD Explosion and Today’s Push for Performance uniquely blends clinical wisdom, current science, new information on medical and school policy, and global trends to debunk myths and set the record straight.

Hinshaw and Scheffler describe the origins of ADHD and its huge costs to society; the science regarding causes as well as medication and behavioural treatment; and the major variation in diagnosis and treatment across the US, highlighting the key roles of educational policy and high-stakes testing. Dealing directly with stimulants as “smart pills,” they describe the epidemic of medicalisation, arguing that accurate diagnosis and well-monitored care could ease the staggering economic burden linked to ADHD.

In novel ways, they unravel the many poignant issues facing children, teachers, clinicians, and family members who contend with ADHD each day. The recommendations in this book can improve the quality of life for those touched by ADHD and potentially improve the productivity and safety of all society.

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