Can Adderall fix bad schools?

Here’s a modest proposal: Let’s dose up kids stuck in low-income schools with Adderall, even if they don’t have A.D.H.D, to compensate for the advantages enjoyed by kids in richer schools, says the Atlantic Wire. That’s what Dr. Michael Anderson, an Atlanta pediatrician who calls himself a “social justice thinker” has started doing, reports The New York Times’s Alan Schwartz. “I don’t have a whole lot of choice,” Dr. Anderson told Schwartz. “We’ve decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment. So we have to modify the kid,” he said. Schwartz notes that he isn’t sure if Anderson is part of a “wider trend,” but cites “some experts” who say the drug is being used in low-income elementary schools on kids whose parents want them to have better performance. And from the sounds of it, Schwartz isn’t alone. “We as a society have been unwilling to invest in very effective nonpharmaceutical interventions for these children and their families,” Dr. Ramesh Raghavan, a child mental-health services researcher at Washington University in St. Louis told Schwartz. “We are effectively forcing local community psychiatrists to use the only tool at their disposal, which is psychotropic medications.”

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