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“A mother once asked me if I wasn’t afraid of drugging my son”

2024-03-30 05:00:40
DAMIEN CUYPERS

“A little monster. » This is how Luc (the first name has been changed), the son of Myriam Molinier, was described as a child. And even « fou », as Myriam’s father said one day. Luc was every parent’s nightmare. A 4-year-old child who, suddenly, can start stealing chairs from the kitchen and then attack them to try to break them. Running away, the shame of crises in public, a family at the end of its rope, a divorce on the horizon… “We take as much as the child. We are told that he is capricious, poorly behaved, we no longer have friends because no one wants to put up with a kid who can’t sit still.”confides, from the Loire, Myriam Molinier, 52 years old, manager of Neurodiff’Formation, a company which aims to transmit knowledge on neurodevelopmental disorders.

Luc has great difficulty maintaining his attention and completing a task. He can’t sit still, is impulsive, has difficulty waiting, has a tendency to cut himself off, etc. He ticks all the boxes of attention deficit disorder symptoms with or without hyperactivity (ADHD). Nearly 5.9% of those under 18 would be affected, according to health insurance. At 6 years old, Luc was diagnosed and began taking a medication, methylphenidate, authorized from that age. “The treatment channeled it”, estimates his mother. Marketed under the names Ritalin, Medikinet, Quasym or Concerta, this molecule, classified as a narcotic, acts on the brain to improve concentration and control impulsivity.

In France, around 0.7% of 3-17 year olds used it in 2019, according to a study published in the journal Childhood and adolescent neuropsychiatry, in February 2022. Nothing to do with certain American states, where one in ten young people is on methylphenidate. Nevertheless, consumption continues to increase: it has more than doubled in ten years in France, as revealed a report from the High Council for Family, Childhood and Age (HCFEA), published in March 2023 and entitled “When children are bad, how can we help them? “. So much so that at the end of February, the National Medicines Safety Agency alerted on the difficulties in supplying medicines based on methylphenidate, or even on the stock shortage of certain specialties.

Attention disorders are becoming more and more known to the general public. In December 2023, the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, even included ADHD in its national strategy for neurodevelopmental disorders. In the eyes of many exhausted parents, helpless in the face of their suffering child, diagnosis can appear as a path of hope and relief, and treatment as a miracle solution.

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