In line with recent health trends, many parents may opt to ignore ADHD, citing fears of negative side effects from medication. However, studies show that untreated ADHD can have long-term effects that reach far beyond an inability to remain calm and focus in class. The implications of untreated ADHD, it seems, range from substance abuse, to reckless driving, to marital dissatisfaction, to academic underachievement. In each case, skills that could have been garnered through socialization after treatment or symptoms that could have been mitigated are left out, leaving the individual in a precarious position.
Consider the following statistics:
- Substance abuse amongst people with ADHD occurs at a rate 3 to 4 times greater than in individuals without the condition
- 25% of the individuals in prison in the US have ADHD
- Individuals with ADHD are 12 times more likely to have loss of control eating syndrome
- Adults with ADHD make $8,900 to $15,400 less per year than their non-ADHD counterparts
- Adults with ADHD are twice as likely to get divorced
Each of these statistics has powerful implications regarding the importance of treatment of ADHD. While the side effects of conventional drugs may not make them the best option, ADHD treatment is still overwhelmingly beneficial, and time should always be spent researching the best (and safest) treatment options to mitigate the statistics above.