Ethical Implications in the Treatment of ADHD

Addressing Ethical Implications in the Treatment of ADHD

The case of Junior raises a number of ethical concerns about how to treat ADHD patients. From the information shared, it is likely that Junior has been abusing drugs meant to help him remain mentally stable and perform well in school. Quinn and Lynch (2016) establish that ADHD affects learning, hence the use of drugs to help learners manage the adverse effects of the diseases for academic reasons. The doctor also appears to have given junior a high dosage of drugs, as indicated the highest than all other young patients under his care. The impact of high dosage would be increased dependency on drugs that Junior suffered. Dextroamphetamine is a stimulant, implying that it can lead to addiction of the user.

Moreover, from the symptoms Junior is suffering from, the side effects of dextroamphetamine are likely high. The use of this drug in treating ADHD is associated with sleeping problems, weight loss, nervousness, dizziness, and nausea, among other issues (Lichtblau, 2011). Thus, the excessive use of the drug would be the reason behind the strong adverse effects that Junior is battling.

Psychopharmacological Interventions

The psychopharmacological interventions a mental health professional can recommend to treat Junior include psychotropic drugs to deal with anxiety, depression, and mood swings. Furthermore, the drugs would help Junior manage hallucinations, weight loss, sleep disorder, and bipolarity. In addition, junior needs to deal with the sleeping problem, which has far-reaching adverse effects on his mental health (Lichtblau, 2011). Therefore, psychotropic drugs will be handy in helping Junior to deal with a myriad of challenges, including loss of sleep and a drop in weight.

The intervention would also include atomoxetine because it is a weight-based medication that eliminated the errors in judging the dosage to administer to a patient. Junior’s weight loss requires a corrective medication that will take into account his weight and body physique. In this respect, atomoxetine is advisable. It would be illogical to continue giving him the dosage he has been using without paying attention to his weight loss. A change of drugs or interventional measures is recommended to reduce the negative effects of the previous intervention that is not working well (Lichtblau, 2011). However, this should be accompanied by close monitoring of the patient to avert doping and overdose.

Ethical Implications

The ethical implication in the client’s presentation includes possible abuse of drugs for academic reasons. Junior is likely to have abused the drugs, underscoring the recurrent exhaustion of the dosage ahead of time. He would be consuming more drugs against the prescription as it is common in ADHD cases they self-mage their condition (Quinn & Lynch, 2016). Possible pharmacological neuroenhancement in ADHD is an ethical concern that must be addressed to avoid abuse of drugs in treating the patient.

Ethically, the medical treatment of ADHD by the mental health professional requires close monitoring of the patient to ensure that there is no abuse of the dosage. Unfortunately, junior’s parents are ever busy, making it challenging to effectively monitor his uptake of drugs, underpinning the loophole for doping (Coker et al., 2016). Without close management of treatment, the patient is more likely to take excess drugs in anticipation of better results.


Coker, T. R., Elliott, M. N., Toomey, S. L., Schwebel, D.C., Cuccaro, P., Emery, S. T., & … Schuster, M. A. (2016). Racial and ethnic disparities in ADHD diagnosis and treatment. Pediatrics, 138(3), e20160407.

Lichtblau, L. (2011). Psychopharmacology demystified. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar, Cengage Learning.

Quinn, M., & Lynch, A. (2016). Is ADHD a “Real” Disorder?. Support for Learning, 31(1), 59-70.

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