Posted by

Tony Rackaukas, District Attorney 
(Attention: Vickie Hix)             
May 29, 2001

Orange County

 401 Civic Center Dr.

Santa Ana, CA 92701


Dear Mr. Rackaukas; Ms. Hix

A November 17, 2000 article in the journal SCIENCE  [1] announced the National Institute of
Mental Health (NIMH) Preschool ADHD Treatment Study (PATS), to commence, in
December, 2000, AT 6 academic centers–UCLA and UC-Irvine, among them–to
determine whether or not Ritalin is safe and effective in preschool children (3
to 6 years of age) with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). 

The article acknowledged “ethical concerns about using young
subjects in clinical trials,” also that 
“science seems a bit thin when it comes to giving drugs to young
children.”  Harvard psychiatrist Joseph
Coyle worried, “psychoactive drugs might affect the development of visual
processing, language, motor skills, and memory of young children.”  

Marshall treated other critics dismissively, writing: “These
doubters range from the die-hard variety, like…psychiatrist Peter Breggin, to
moderate skeptics like pediatrician William Carey of the Philadelphia
Children’s Hospital.” Carey has written that the “assumption that ADHD
symptoms arise from cerebral malfunction has not been supported, even after
extensive investigations.”  
“Breggin,” Marshall observed, “has signed up as an expert witness for
parents of ADHD children who this year filed lawsuits against the manufacturer
of Ritalin and psychiatric organizations in several states, alleging that they
conspired to promote the drug.  Breggin
and California neurologist Fred Baughman Jr. blasted the use of Ritalin in
congressional testimony on 29 September. Baughman called the ADHD diagnosis
“a total fraud.” Enrolling young children in a trial of MPH, he adds,
is “outrageous” and “immoral.”

Writing in SCIENCE, Marshall avoided addressing the science,
preferring, instead, to attack the “critics.” 
The main question about AD/HD, today and throughout it’s 21 year
history, is whether it is an actual disease at all (abnormality  = disease. 
No abnormality = no disease = normal) .   The controversy is not over the fact that the children to be
studied are so young, but whether or not they have an actual disease–whether
or not, they are normal? 

Marshall, the editors or SCIENCE,  and the leaders of psychiatric research, left it for me, in a
letter to the editor, January 26, 2001 [2], to address the scientific “bottom
line.”  I wrote (copy, complete with
bibliography enclosed):

“Regarding the Preschool Treatment
Study that Marshall describes in his article–there is no disease. No proof
exists that ADHD is a disease with a validating abnormality. Yet the public is
told it is a “disease” (1), that it is  neurobiologic” (2) or “neurobehavioral” (3). W.B.
Carey, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania, School of
Medicine, testified at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus
Conference on ADHD in 1998 that “ADHD…appears to be a set of normal
behavioral variations” (4). The Consensus Conference Panel concluded:
“we do not have an independent, valid test for ADHD…no data…indicate that
ADHD is due to a brain malfunction” (5). 
Every  physician has the
responsibility to distinguish disease from absence of disease and to communicate
this to their patients and the public. 
In that children who would be the research subjects in the Preschool
ADHD Treatment Study (PATS) have no demonstrable disease, there is no
justification for giving them Schedule II, stimulant medications.”

James M. Swanson is Director of the Child Study Center at
the University of California, Irvine, and director of the PATS there.  Speaking at the American Society of
Adolescent Psychiatry, May 7, 1998, Swanson briefly deserted the
psychiatric/pharmaceutical propaganda line that insists that all psychiatric
“disorders” are “diseases” due to “chemical imbalances” of the brain.  His having stumbled onto the scientific
truth of the matter, went as follows(from the tape recording of the session):

“I would like to have an objective diagnosis for the
disorder (ADHD).  Right now psychiatric
diagnosis is completely subjective…We would like to have biological tests—a
dream of psychiatry for many years… I think we will validate it.”

Nor has any single psychiatric
“disorder”/ “disease” been  validated,
as such, between then and now. 
Completely subjective and without an objective abnormality by which to
diagnose/confirm their presence—there is no such thing as a bona fide
psychiatric disease.  There is no
abnormality to treat, medically or surgically, to make more nearly normal, or
normal.  This being the case there is no
difference between children given Ritalin and other amphetamines within the
confines of the school, legally, and those give the same drugs outside of
school—illegally.  The only thing that
separates them is the illusory, fraudulent “disease” labels appended within the
schools and throughout the psychiatric, psychological, mental health community. 

In Los Angeles County, in the
year 2000, 3891, 2 year-olds, and 5,311, 3 year-olds were legally prescribed
Ritalin and other Schedule II amphetamines. 
At the same time, in Orange County, 
2,311, 2 year-olds and 2,873, 3 year-olds were legally prescribed drugs
of the same category. 

From Drug Laws, 1998–California Edition (including the California Uniform
Controlled Substances Act)
we read (11190.):

“The prescriber’s record shall
show the pathology and purpose for which the prescription is issued, or the
controlled substance administered, prescribed or dispensed.” 

The word “pathology” means
disease or abnormality, of which there are none in ADHD, or in any psychiatric
disorder/diagnosis in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual—IV, of the  American Psychiatric Association. 

 My article  Psychiatric
drugs for infants and toddlers: Treatment or crime?
Has just been published
in the International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine [Vol. 23 Number 2]

It is time for a thorough, un-biased, analysis of all
child-adolescent psychiatric practice  
where the prescribing of Schedule II, controlled substances is
concerned.  This analysis should begin
with the  Preschool ADHD Treatment Study
(PATS) just launched in the Departments of Psychiatry at UCLA and
UC-Irvine.  It must include and thorough
investigation of the scientific status of ADHD itself, and of all diagnoses for
which Schedule II substances are being prescribed.


Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD–Neurology/Child Neurology

1303 Hidden Mountain Dr.

El Cajon, CA 92019

619 440 8236



1.      Marshall,
Eliot.  Planned Ritalin Trial for Tots Heads Into Uncharted Waters.
SCIENCE, November 17, 2000; 1280-1282

2.      Baughman,
FA.  Questioning the Treatment for
ADHD.  SCIENCE. 2001;291:595

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