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FIRST-PERSON: The rest of the story … repeated once again

DURHAM, N.C. (BP)–For several years we have sounded an ominous alarm about dangers accruing for too many of those whose lives are governed by prescribed medicines that have the potential for deadly harm. Often these warnings have been met with wordy opposition, even in the church, by those who have become entrapped in our nation’s addiction to prescribed and over-the-counter medication.

It’s not our aim to upset our audiences, but we have a responsibility laid on us by our Lord to share the truth wherever we travel, regardless of the consequences to ourselves.

1 John 4:21 clearly explains that those who love God must also love their brothers. Indeed, the faithful must become their brothers’ keepers. And we are always reminded that the truth has the potential to set men free if they embrace it.

Our revelations concerning the dangers posed to those who have used the stimulant medicines intended to stem the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders likely have caused the most negative responses to our intervention, for these medicines often deliver what they are intended to in the early stages of use. So many parents and professionals have proclaimed the merits of these medicines without understanding that there are possible deadly side effects. For many, there may initially be apparent successes; for some, there will be a “later on” that will not be so pleasant. These dark events can occur quite suddenly, for these drugs contain amphetamine-like products that eventually may lead to cardiovascular difficulties, as is true with the much-feared substances called methamphetamine and cocaine. Violent thoughts and actions are also possible with such drugs, although many manufacturers of ADHD medicines refuse to acknowledge this potential in their products.

According to USA Today’s Feb. 10-12 edition, an advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration recently raised fears about ADHD medicines again, recommending black-box warnings on labels and informative inserts. These fears were driven by unexplained sudden deaths among several taking the medicine.

One such ADHD drug that remains legal, even though it does carry a boxed warning about misuse causing heart attacks or strokes, is Adderall, which contains pure amphetamine, the highly addictive drug that has destroyed so many lives. This drug remains the best seller among those intended to treat the disorder.

Many children have been given this drug just because they manifested the ordinary growing-up symptoms, particularly boys, who seem quite hyperactive and noisy. These substances have often been used because teachers or parents are unwilling to put up with these normal growth patterns in these children, and instead take the easy way out. It just might be possible that parents and teachers willing to take more time with these hyper kids might discover that the benefits of a little extra time are worth more than gambling with the lives of loved ones.

Again, we dare to ask, boldly and lovingly of those who have taken this dubious route, to please get a second opinion from a reliable doctor who cares more about his patients that he does about writing another prescription or taking this risky route.
Ted Stone and Philip Barber are Southern Baptist ministers who provide leadership to churches and individuals seeking avenues of hope for those involved in drug abuse. For information about speaking engagements or about the anti-drug HIS Way program, contact Ted Stone, Ted Stone Ministries, P.O. Box 1397, Durham, N.C., 27702, or telephone 919-477-1581.

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  • Ted Stone and Philip Barber