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Is treating ADHD naturally and without medication a possibility? That depends entirely on who you ask. One practitioner will provide compelling information on how to control ADHD without medication while another practitioner will claim prescription medications are the only answer.

Do ADHD medications help or do they hurt? One study will show the benefits of using medication therapy for ADHD. The next highlights the downside of this treatment route. The same goes for ADD natural treatment methods.

The treating ADHD naturally vs. the ADHD medication debate has been bantered around for decades. Two new ADHD studies are sure to fuel the debate. The results are these studies are already causing experts to question current treatment protocols and call for a new approach on treating ADHD naturally without medication. Some now say stimulant drugs should not be considered the mainstay of treatment, and that parents should first learn how to control ADHD without medication through non-prescription ADD natural treatment methods.

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In the first study, UCLA researchers took the results of a study from Finland, where medication is rarely used to treat ADHD, and compared the findings against ADHD Americans. In the United States about 60 percent of ADHD children receive medication for symptoms at some point in their childhood. Interestingly, the medicated American ADHD children fared as well as the non-medicated Finland population by the time ADHD children reach 16 to 18 years of age.

Researchers said the study, which compared two different cultures with two different ADHD treatment approaches, raises important questions about the long-term benefits of ADHD drug therapy compared to treating ADHD naturally and ADD alternative medicine approaches.

Next, a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) showed that ADHD medications provide short-term benefits, while also confirming the lack of long-term benefits. In this study of almost 600 children, researchers found that medicated ADHD children functioned better at home and school at the end of 14 months, compared to those who received behavioral therapy or no treatment at all. However, there was little difference after three years between the medicated group and the group treating ADHD naturally.

The two ADHD studies highlight the need to take a different look at the debate, as well as the current treatment protocol. Instead of considering the pros and cons of ADHD medication vs. treating ADHD naturally, doctors and parents might consider looking at benefits from a short-term and long-term perspective.

The studies clearly show a lack of long-term benefits when using ADHD medication. The National Institute of Mental Health study shows clear short-term benefits. With this information, parents can better decide if the risks and side effects of ADHD drugs outweigh short-term benefits.

These studies should also put parents at ease when faced with the ADHD drug decision. Parent who choose treating ADHD naturally - whether by employing a hyperactive diet, using herbal remedies or behavior modification - can feel at peace knowing that their child is not slated for a life of ruin without medication. In fact, he likely will fare as well as his medicated peers by the time he reaches adolescence. If the parent chooses to use drug therapy to control ADHD symptoms, the child will likely experience short-term benefits at home and in school.