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How to Combat ADHD Without Prescription Medications

When it comes to children and teens they can all seem a bit distractible – but some are more easily distracted than others and often that is a cause for concern for parents.

It can lead to trouble in school and adult-life situations like work as well. It may also be a symptom related to a more severe underlying condition. This is likely the reason that the number of children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD has increased by 41 percent between 2003 and 2011.

As of 2011, 11 percent – or 6.4 million – children between the ages of 4 and 17 years old have been diagnosed with ADHD.

Along with this diagnosis is often a prescription for some sort of medication to hopefully help your child focus. These medications generally include stimulants such as amphetamine or Adderall, or nonstimulants such as atomoxetine or bupropion – but they all come with a list of similar and concerning potential side effects.

Possible side effects of these medications include:

  • Sleep problems
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of appetite
  • Heart problems
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

If you’re looking at that list of side effects and no longer feeling comfortable giving such a medication to your child daily, you’re not alone. Luckily, there are many options for natural treatments and solutions for children who have ADHD.

Diet and Exercise

One of the first things that you should try if you’re looking to treat ADHD naturally is ensuring a proper diet and exercise. Avoiding foods with artificial coloring and preservatives is one positive step to take as they may lead to hyperactive behaviors. You should also work to avoid allergens such as milk, eggs, chocolates and foods containing salicylates such as berries, apples, chili powder, plums and oranges.

Exercise is also a crucial factor to consider – but more specifically, exercising in an outdoor and green environment is going to be your best bet. A 2011 study supports the claim that regular exposure to outdoors can be a safe and natural treatment for people who have ADHD.


Another viable alternative to prescriptions for ADHD medications like Adderall is CBD or cannabidiol. This non-psychoactive cannabinoid is found in medical marijuana and hemp plants and has virtually no side effects – but plenty of medicinal benefits.

In the case of ADHD, there are not a lot of scientific studies that provide research into the use of CBD – but there is so much anecdotal evidence that at least one study has concluded that cannabis may be useful as a treatment. Another study found that CBD may improve activity and cognitive performance in ADHD patients.

If you’re looking for an alternative to prescriptions – but diet and exercise doesn’t seem to be enough alone to control your child’s ADHD symptoms, then trying CBD oil has minimal risk and has the potential to make a positive impact on quality of life.

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