The Voice’s Adam Levine is very open about being diagnosed with ADHD when he was a child, but some mental health experts are upset with his PSA because they believe he is encouraging the public to ask for prescription drugs.
On the public service announcement, Adam says, “Like many kids with ADHD I didn’t outgrow it. I remember very distinctly not being able to focus, so that was right around the time I saw a doctor.”
The TV spot encourages people to take a quiz on ownyouradhd.com and consult with their doctor. Although the commercial and the website don’t mention a specific ADHD drug, it is sponsored by Shire, which makes Adderall.
Jeff Ball, PH.D. founder and executive director of PCH Treatment Centers in West Los Angeles tells RumorFix exclusively,”Pharmaceutical companies are well aware that if they can get someone of the stature of Adam Levine promoting their medication, the general public is more likely to ask for that prescription from their doctor and all too often they comply.”
In 2012, ADHD medications were responsible for $9 billion dollars in sales.
“It’s a disturbing trend that has been developing in the mental health community for quite some time, where it’s all too easy to over diagnose ADHD and dispense medication as treatment when in fact a much more comprehensive approach is better for patients,” Ball says.
“Our experience at PCH Treatment Center is that most people who are diagnosed with ADHD in fact do not have ADHD,” Ball explains. “The only way to properly diagnose someone is through neuropsychological testing. The best approach to treat people who may actually have ADHD may involve individual, group and sometimes family therapy; physical activity including exercise, yoga, walks, etc; biofeedback; art therapy; and other forms of holistic therapy. Medications should not the first course of treatment and when they are needed, should be used as sparingly as possible.”
Adam’s reps haven’t responded to our request for comment.