Is medication the only treatment option for ADHD?

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Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
Medication is not the only treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, experts recommend that people combine ADHD medication with behavioral therapy treatment for the best results. This combination is the most effective treatment for ADHD. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about ADHD medications. Ask about possible side effects. If you experience any problems on the medications, talk to your doctor, who may change your dose or recommend that you try a new medication.
While medication is effective for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), especially when combined with therapy, you can use therapy alone. One benefit of therapy is that your child is not bothered by side effects. Some of the most highly regarded treatments for ADHD, aside from drugs, include:

- family therapy
- individual therapy
- behavior modification
- social and educational groups

These treatments offer you and your child a chance to learn new strategies to overcome the trials and tribulations of ADHD. While this may seem appealing, know that the combination of medication and behavioral treatment is often the most effective way to deal with childhood ADHD. Talk to your pediatrician, child psychiatrist, or therapist to learn more about treatments available for you.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Nope. Like most things, there are alternatives. Effective non-drug treatment for ADHD includes behavior modification, family or individual therapy, and social and educational support groups.

Talk to your pediatrician, child psychiatrist, or therapist to learn more about what treatments might work best for you. One approach definitely does not fit all.

Continue Learning about ADD/ADHD Treatment

ADD/ADHD Treatment

ADD/ADHD Treatment

Because the symptoms of ADD/ADHD vary, treatment varies. Treatment may include medication, but lifestyle changes such as proper diet and outdoor exercise can help reduce ADD symptoms. Behavioral cognitive therapy can help those wi...

th ADD/ADHD improve focus and minimize distractions. Without proper treatment, children and adults with ADD and ADHD can develop drug and alcohol problems, and untreated children with ADD/ADHD have a higher likelihood of not finishing high school. However, with proper treatment, many patients are able to organize their lives, hold jobs and care for themselves.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.