Adhd: Is Ritalin Overprescribed? Essay

1427 words - 6 pages

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, also know as ADHD, is a behavioral syndrome that can be found in both adults and children. Former ally known as hyperactivity, major symptoms are inattention and distractibility, restlessness, inability to sit still, and difficulty concentrating on one thing for any period of time. ADHD can be managed many different ways including through medication. One of these medications is Ritalin, and in recent years, there has been concern that this drug is being given out too often. (Web Md, 2002)Children are more common to show signs of ADHD than adults are. There is not a definite test to determine whether a person has ADHD. A diagnosis is applied to children and adults who constantly display certain characteristic behaviors over a period. The three most common behaviors fall into three categories: inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Inattention is when a person has a hard time keeping their mind on any one thing, and may become bored with a task after only a few minutes. Learning something new may become difficult because of this, and the person is forced to deliberately focus. Hyperactivity is characterized by the need to constantly be in motion. One must wiggle, squirm, or move some part of their body at all times, and have extreme difficulty sitting in one spot for a long time. Hyperactive people may try to do several things at once, and may bounce from one activity to another. Hyperactive adults and teens may feel intensely restless and will become fidgety. Impulsivity is distinguished by people who are unable to curb their immediate reaction and have difficultly thinking before they act. This may cause a person to blurt out inappropriate comments or to become violent without thinking about the consequences. (Symptoms, 2002)There is no official cure for ADHD, however, treatments are available to help control the symptoms. Some people believe that simply enforcing behavioral patterns will control a child's ADHD, and that medication is not necessary. (Block, 1997) Others believe that herbal methods and natural treatments work best. (Rowland, 2001) Still, the most common treatment of ADHD in both children and adults is through medication. Medications for ADHD include amphetamines such as Dexedrine and Adderall, and methylphenidates such as Ritalin, Concerta and Metadate CD. Antidepressants are occasionally used, however, Ritalin is by far the most often prescribed medication to help control ADHD. (Web Md, 2002)All over the world, people are concerned with the overwhelming numbers of Ritalin being prescribed to people who show signs of ADHD. The numbers are steadily increasing every year. In Australia, the past nine years have shown a 1,300 percent increase in prescription rates. It is estimated that at least 50,000 children in Australia are now on these prescriptions drugs. (Boon, 2002) People are wondering why this is necessary, or if the medical professionals are simply looking for a quick fix to a...

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