CCHR Warns of ADHD Drug Risks as WHO Denies Essential Status for Stimulant

By: PRLog

Mental health industry watchdog discloses that 3.3 million U.S. children are given psychiatric drugs despite WHO disapproving of these for children younger than 12

LOS ANGELES - Jan. 29, 2024 - PRLog -- In a recent Lancet Psychiatry article, experts have supported the World Health Organization's decision to withhold essential medicine status from methylphenidate, a drug used for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The latest WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (EML) has gone even further by removing the antipsychotics chlorpromazine and haloperidol, and the antidepressant fluoxetine for children. Indeed, "The current EML contains no medications of any kind to treat mental disorders in children younger than 12 years, which aligns with current evidence," Lancet reported.[1] Despite this, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights International says that over 3 million U.S. children aged 12 and younger are prescribed psychiatric drugs, as per statistics from the IQVia Total Patient Tracker database.[2]

IQVia statistics reveal that of the 3.3 million, 1,809,101 are prescribed stimulants for ADHD; 336,125 are prescribed antipsychotics, and 581,979 are prescribed antidepressants—the latter, however, are not indicated in anyone younger than 24 because of the risk of suicide. CCHR said the psychotropic drugging of America's children is shameful and putting them at risk.

Ole Jakob Storebø from the Center for Evidence-Based Psychiatry, Psychiatric Research Unit, Denmark, and colleagues wrote, "WHO indicates that precautions are warranted regarding any pharmacological treatment of mental disorders for children younger than 12 years. From an evidence-based perspective, we believe the precautions to be an ethical and sound stance."

Before their passing, the doctors responsible for putting ADHD on the map were aghast at what they helped create. Child psychiatrist Leon Eisenberg, the "scientific father of ADHD", along with child psychologist Keith Conners, Ph.D., conducted clinical trials on methylphenidate in the 1960s. In 2009, he remorsefully called ADHD a "prime example of a fictitious disease."[3] In 2013, Conners said he was appalled at how many children were saddled with the diagnosis, calling it "a national disaster of dangerous proportion."[4]

In 2015, CCHR notified the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) of the aggressive worldwide diagnosing of ADHD and stimulants prescribed to children, resulting in UNCRC hearings being held. The agency found that "educational resources and funding systems for practitioners are geared toward a 'quick fix'" and recommended the establishment of a system for "monitoring of the excessive use of psychostimulants to children." It called for governments to "take the necessary measures to prevent any pressure on children and parents to accept treatment with psychostimulant drugs."[5]

In 2018, and again in 2020, the WHO Expert Committee on the selection and use of essential medicines declined to grant the stimulant drug methylphenidate the status of an essential medicine.[6]

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration classifies methylphenidate as a high-abuse Schedule II drug, in the same category as morphine, opium and cocaine. A study in the Journal of Neuroscience said it is more potent than cocaine.[7]

Other stimulant side effects include nervousness, insomnia, blood pressure and pulse changes, weight loss, heart attacks, strokes and sudden death, and new or worsening aggression and hostility.[8] Methylphenidate's manufacturer warns it is a drug of dependency.[9] Last year, the Food and Drug Administration acknowledged ADHD drugs can cause addiction, even when used as prescribed, and required this information be added to its black box warning on all stimulant drugs.[10]

Students also abuse these drugs. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine found brain scans of college students who abused stimulants showed impaired neuronal activity. "If you show me 100 college students and tell me which ones have taken stimulants a dozen times, I can tell you those students' brains are different," Dr. Martin Paulus, professor of psychiatry, said.[11]

In a groundbreaking September 2005 study, the Evidence-based Practice Center of Oregon Health & Science University analyzed 2,287 studies, encompassing virtually all research on ADHD drugs. Surprisingly, none of the trials demonstrated the effectiveness of these drugs, and there was insufficient evidence supporting their positive impact on "academic performance, risky behaviors, social achievements, etc."[12]

The anomaly is the American Psychiatric Association admits, "There are no laboratory tests, neurological assessments, or attentional assessments that have been established as diagnostic in the clinical assessment" of ADHD.[13] The diagnosis is largely based on subjective behavioral symptoms, including not sitting still, losing pencils and not finishing chores.

Kelly O'Meara, former Congressional staff and author of Psyched Out: How Psychiatry Sells Mental Illness and Pushes Pills That Kill, summed it up: "In essence, what is happening is that millions of American children are being put on mind-altering drugs—the equivalent of cocaine—every day and often for years on end, to treat a mental illness that no one can say with certainty an objective, confirmable abnormality exists. The best and brightest in mental health admit they are speculating—guessing—effectively using America's children as dice in a psychopharmacological crapshoot."[14]

About CCHR: CCHR was founded in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and the late Dr. Thomas Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry. It has helped achieve over 190 laws to protect the rights of patients within the mental health system.

[4], citing:;
[7]; Brian Vastag, "Pay Attention: Ritalin Acts Much Like Cocaine," JAMA, 22/29 Aug. 2001, Vol. 286, No. 5, p. 906
[8] Physicians' Desk Reference, (Medical Economics Company, New Jersey, 1998), pp. 1896-1897; DSM-III, p. 150; PDR.Net,; Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Warning Urged for ADHD Drugs," Los Angeles Times, Feb. 10, 2005;
[10]; "FDA updating warnings to improve safe use of prescription stimulants used to treat ADHD and other conditions," FDA 11 May 2023;
[13] Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition, (American Psychiatric Association, Washington D.C. 2000), pp. 88-89
[14] Kelly Patricia O'Meara, Psyched Out: How Psychiatry Sells Mental Illness and Pushes Pills that Kill, (AuthorHouse, 2006), p. 75

Amber Rauscher

Photos: (Click photo to enlarge)

3.3 million children are given psychiatric drugs

Source: Citizens Commission on Human Rights

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