PARENTS

Dangers Of Prescribing ADHD Meds To Toddlers: 'We're Living In The U.S. Of Adderall'

05/19/2014 04:55 pm ET | Updated May 19, 2014

The Center for Disease Control just added a new layer to debates over administering drugs to young children with ADHD symptoms. The organization released an inflammatory report, covered by The New York Times on Friday, stating that 10,000 toddlers in the United States are medicated for attention disorders, outside the pediatric guidelines.

Dr. Nancy Rappaport, Dr. Lawrence Diller, and New York Times reporter Alan Schwarz joined HuffPost Live to address concerns the report has raised, including the idea that kids as young as 2 and 3 years old might be misdiagnosed.

"It's outside the American Academy of Pediatric guidelines to diagnose a child, let alone medicate them below the age of four," said Schwarz. "Even the ones that are extraordinarily hyperactive, you don't know whether that's ADHD, a problem in the home, sleep."

Rappaport agrees. "You could look hyperactive, [and] it could be because you have trauma going on at home," she told host Ricky Camilleri. "Difficulty concentrating, being hyperactive doesn't necessarily mean you have attention deficit disorder."

Among the children studied in the report, most of them received government assistance from medicaid, which contributed to the guests' common denominator: symptoms possibly stemming from family struggle, not brain disorder. When asked if he thought toddlers should be diagnosed so young, pediatrician Dr. Lawrence Diller examined the bigger picture.

"If you address the family and social issues ... poverty, substance abuse, violence, racism that is being manifested and called neurological disease," said Diller. "I don't think so."

Watch the full HuffPost Live segment here.

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