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There's been a huge leap in the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in American children. Doctors are prescribing drugs including Ritalin and Adderall to treat ADHD. But, what is it?  Are drugs the right answer? What are the consequences of widespread abuse in college and elsewhere? Also, another deadly attack in Afghanistan, and how a Democratic State Senator tried to bribe his way onto the ballot for Mayor of New York — as a Republican.

Banner image: LeoAmadeus

Making News Deadly Attack in Afghanistan 7 MIN, 36 SEC

Forty-four people are dead in western Afghanistan in one of the Taliban's most deadly attacks in 10 years of warfare. It involved two suicide bombers and the killing of hostages in the basement of a provincial courthouse. Azam Ahmed reports from Kabul for the New York Times.

Azan Ahmed, New York Times

Main Topic ADHD and America's Drug Culture 33 MIN, 23 SEC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have rekindled concern about the prevalence of and the treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Roughly 6.4 million kids aged 4 through 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD, 11 percent of all American children – and a 53 percent increase in just ten years. Fifteen percent of boys are said to have the disorder and half of them are reportedly on medication. Ritalin, Adderall and other treatments for ADHD are now a $9 billion industry and abuse of those drugs, especially in college, is epidemic. Is ADHD caused by brain disease or early childhood experience?  How long does medical treatment last?  What are the side effects? Do over-diagnosis and excessive drug prescription create the illusion of easy solutions for complex problems?  

Scott Kollins, Duke University
Susan Wortman Jutt, mother of a child with ADHD
Peter Breggin, psychiatrist and author (@AmericanMD)
Carol Boyd, University of Michigan

Medication Madness

Peter R. Breggin

Reporter's Notebook NY State Senator Accused of Trying to Bribe His Way into Mayor's Race 9 MIN, 41 SEC

Michael Bloomberg's three terms as Mayor of New York have been free of major corruption, but a new federal bribery case suggests that machine politics may be alive and well. Democratic State Senator Malcolm Smith probably had no chance of becoming mayor -- especially as a Republican. But that's the scenario he tried to act out, admitting it would cost him "a pretty penny." Unfortunately for Smith, his admission was recorded by the FBI, as we hear from Anna Sale, politics reporter for public radio station WNYC.

Anna Sale, WNYC (@annasale)

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