In our world, AA is an identifiable acronym for Alcoholics Anonymous, American Airlines, and for those financial gurus, AA: NYSE the stock quote.
But in my world, AA stands for ADHD and Anxiety. Sadly, these are two challenges that my beautiful, smart, witty, charming and oftentimes challenging 16 year-old son faces every day of his life. They go hand-in-hand.
My ex husband was opposed to medicating our son for quite some time due to the possible side effects of medication, and the fact that the pharmaceutical and medical industries perhaps were conspiring to dupe the American people into believing our kids had ADHD, in an effort to convince us that these very dangerous drugs were miracle pills for our children. But three years ago, when the calls were coming in from middle school that our son was continually distracting in class and his grades were plummeting, we both agreed it was time to give the meds a shot.
He’s been on various forms of ADHD medication since the age of 13 1/2, from Concerta to Vyvance to Adderall – stimulants designed to affect chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control, and also tend to make you anxious.
For a while they seemed to work, but the doctor kept increasing the dosage until our pharmacist said to me “who exactly is taking this drug?” When I told him it was my 14 year-old son, he was horrified at the high dosage and said he’d never recommend giving this to a child. We quit that doctor and found another – more gentle and conservative – and eventually got the right dose and drug dialed in.
That is, until we realized that on top of his ADHD, he was stressed out and riddled with anxiety as well – social anxiety, academic anxiety, blended family anxiety to name a few.
So, to combat his high stress levels, doctors put him on what I call the AA Cocktail – a combination of Vyvance and Zoloft. How’s it going? It’s hard to tell with a 16 year-old – what exactly is normal teen behavior, anyway? He still is filled with social and academic anxiety, and continues to have dramatic ups and downs with his academic performance. Time will tell.
Why am I telling you this? Well, my ex-husband is convinced CBDs are the answer. Based upon his advocacy, I started to do research and talk to doctors. My son’s physician said she’s well aware of the discussion around cannabinoids and ADHD/Anxiety, but would like to see more studies. It seems that there have not been any “real” clinical trials on the effectiveness of CBDs on ADHD due to the controversy surrounding medical marijuana, and the social stigma of using marijuana.
My doctor and I would both like to see more scientific study validating the effectiveness of CBD, and a better understanding of the exact dosage required on a daily basis. She was also concerned that cannabinoids wear off much faster than a time released controlled substance.
So, I am writing this today because I wanted to reach out to the MJ Moms community to see if anyone has insights that they could share.