Prescription medications in America are advertised to consumers by pharmaceutical companies pushing the need to enhance or better ourselves. Got a headache? Take a pill. Have trouble focusing? Take a pill. Medicalization is the idea that through the utilization of different drugs, we can control our bodies and minds, unnatural and natural, processes. Biomedicalization is the thought that our bodies and behaviors are enhanced through medical intervention. In our current American society, we believe any ailment can be cured by taking a pill, making us perfect. We live in a fast paced society where minor pains and other health issues are not acceptable reasons to take a break. We take medications to make us feel better for physical and mental ailments. An example of this is the use of amphetamine salts to treat attention deficit hyper disorder, or ADHD. While many individuals may actually have severe ADHD, there is an entire population of individuals who use these amphetamine salts without being diagnosed with the disease. College students, athletes, and other individuals take drugs like Adderall or Vyvanse to help with their performance academically or in other tasks. These drugs help people focus on a task at hand and maintain that focus for multiple hours. These amphetamine salts play a huge cultural role in our western society. Most college students abuse these drugs because of the amount of stress put on them from their academic, work, and personal lives. Going to class, work, dinner, and also studying for 4 hours everyday is difficult. These drugs are pushed to students by pharmaceutical companies and doctors and a fix for their workloads. These drugs are also over-prescribed to children in an effort to “fix” their impatience or their inability to perform well in class. I believe children should not be given these drugs at a young age because it builds dependence and numbs their train of thought. Doctors also push the medication as a fix all solution for kids who may be a little more hyper than their classmates.


Work Cited

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Carrie Blackwell says:

    I agree with your post to a very high degree. Not only about ADHD, but also agreeing with your view on how in our culture we are pushed to the max and believe a pill should and will cure any discomfort instantly. Pertaining to just the illness that is now described, as ADHD is quite the hot controversial topic that many people have and feel strongly about. Attention deficit medications are very powerful and do their job that is expected of them. However, the side effects of the attention deficit drugs can be very daunting. According to the Child Mind Institute stimulant medications such as Adderall can cause sleep deprivation, delayed growth, depression, headaches, and many other complications.
    Culturally the push for children and students to constantly be at peak academic or other performance levels leads to the belief that many people who do not suffer from ADHD take prescription medication. Historically there was not sufficient evidence that many people suffered from the condition or now an illness of ADHD. Personally I believe that is because our world today has become a lot faster paced. I also believe that nowadays people are constantly consumed with a task. The task can be work or school but can also just be relaxing. There is usually a TV on along with doing something on a phone. In our world today, not many people take the time to just sit with their own thoughts. This is why I believe that there is a surge of people being diagnosed with ADHD.

    Boorady, MD, Roy. ” Side Effects of ADHD Medication What to look for, and how to handle them .” Child Mind Institute.

  2. Nia Franklin says:

    I agree especially here in America, western culture has a big influence on us that makes us believe that if we can just take a pill and everything will be fine. We are a culture that believes in pills as a cure for our illnesses. In other cultures, for example Japan, they are not as comfortable with taking pills like we are here in America. Instead they believe in more natural forms of treatment like meditation and acupuncture. I feel what we fail to realize in western medicine is not everyone responds to medicine the same way. Some people can handle certain medication and other cannot. In terms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder I have seen firsthand what these pills do to people with the disease. My little cousin suffers from ADHD and when he takes his medication he is like a completely different person. He is like a zombie. I can’t help but think that the medication he is taking is not helping his situation. Also medication like Adderall is abused by high school and college students to stay up and pull all nighters and get good grades. It is also really easy to display symptoms of ADHD and not actually have the disorder. I feel like there is not enough precaution taken when prescribing medication to people, after all the medication is an amphetamine.

  3. Valencia Smith says:

    Looking at the advertisement in your post, I find it very misleading. I really dislike the fact that its basically saying that without drugs, children with ADHD won’t get picked in school to be in groups or won’t be able to get good grades. This in turn, pushes parent towards the idea that their children need to be on a certain drug to become better at something. ADHD drugs are poorly used in our American society. Just like you stated, many college students and athletes abuse the drug. I honestly feel like laws should and need to be put in place to prevent recreational use of the drug. The advertisement focuses a lot on social roles and also the presentation of medical information. There is no medical information that stands out in the advertisement, which can be misleading. And also the fact that children and parents are the main focus shows that they are the ones being targeted. This is not good to me because of the fact that I believe children should not be subject to taking ADHD drugs at such a young age. This advertisement is so vague and can be very effective in getting consumers who are not informed on the illness to buy the drug without knowing more about it; for a simple fix.

  4. saarine3 says:

    I find that advertisement you selected to be a very typical advertisement technique, making the mother (the one with the money) believe that her child will never be normal without the medication. This and many other ads like it are the reason there is a steadily rising trend in ADHD prescriptions being handed out. In the article “Problems of Overdiagnosis and Overprescribing in ADHD” by Dr. Daniel F. Connor. He explains “Before 1970, the diagnosis of ADHD was relatively rare for schoolchildren and almost nonexistent for adolescents and adults. Between 1980 and 2007, there was an almost 8-fold increase of ADHD prevalence in the United States compared with rates of 40 years ago”. I believe a lot of this has to do with the raising in overall drug production and consumption in the US starting in the late 1980s. Drugs are more than medicine in the US they are a business, so by convincing a parent his/her child needs this pill even if he doesn’t is a prime example of Conrad’s expert patients. Whats more is that there is relatively no action to reverse this trend. So long as drug companies convince customers they need there product there will be an overdiagnosis of drugs the the US population.

    Daniel F. Connor, MD “Problems of Overdiagnosis and Overprescribing in ADHD”,

  5. Kayla Lumpkin says:

    Viewing the advertisement in your post, I feel that it makes sense but it is also kind of implying that without Adderall, those that are ADHD cannot perform well in society. Students with ADHD can definitely still function in society without the pill and if we didn’t rely on medicine as much as we do, we wouldn’t think this way. Students that have ADHD are prescribed medicine for their condition, and sometimes over prescribed for the amount needed. There needs to be further testing done on students that are said to have ADHD so it won’t be abused by those that don’t actually need it. Adderall is abused by many college students that do not have the condition, and this just causes them to become dependent on it. In the college community, I believe Adderall is viewed as just a study-helper pill that helps you study longer and focus better on the material being studied. However, we fail to realize the affect Adderall has on our body when it is used for the wrong reasons.
    In America, our solution to every medical problem is to take some form of medication to temporarily make the symptoms go away. I believe if we didn’t reply on medication so much we may be able to naturally heal ourselves.

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