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The Use Of Ritalin Should Be Limited

5773 words - 23 pages

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are behavioral disorders affecting attention span, impulse control, and self-discipline (Miller & Keane, 1982, pg. 19). They are usually associated with children, although adults can suffer from the same disorders. Typically medicated with psychostimulants such as Ritalin or Adderall, (methylphenidate and dextroamphetamine, respectively), concern over these disorders surrounds problems such as over-diagnosis or misuse of the prescription medications (Breggin, 2006).It could be argued by many parents that since their children have been on Ritalin there has been a marked improvement in several areas. These children are now able to concentrate on their studies and enjoy the satisfaction of being able to keep up with other students. These students also enjoy a better relationship with their peers, friends and families. However, my claim in this paper is that the use of Ritalin should be restricted because it has become too accessible, too easy to prescribe, and the number of students being treated today with this dangerous drug is alarming. The harsh side effects outweigh the benefits. A drug does not become "safe" simply because it is prescribed by a doctor.It is my intention in this paper to explore the side effects of taking Ritalin. This will, I hope, convince the readers that Ritalin is a bad solution because of these terrible side effects. Then I will demonstrate that too many children are being prescribed Ritalin much too easily, that there are many problems surrounding long-term use of Ritalin. Finally, I will discuss the over prescribing and pressure put on parents to use Ritalin on any behavioral problem that interferes with classroom behavior. Parents should seek out other ways to deal with problematic children than just going the easy way and giving Ritalin.Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD, is one of the most common mental disorders that develop in children (National Institute of Mental Health, 2006).A child with ADHD feels like they are bombarded with stimuli and are unable to filter them and deal with them one by one. The responses to all of these impulses are impulsive and reflexive and beyond the patient's control. Boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls are. Girls are generally not as hyperactive or impulsive as boys, behaviors that can lead to intervention by teachers and parents (Berard, 2002). Children with ADHD have impaired functioning in multiple settings, including home, school, and in relationships with peers. If untreated, the disorder can have long-term adverse effects into adolescence and adulthood (National Institute of Mental Health, 2006). Ritalin (Methylphenidate) is the most prevalent of the drugs used to treat ADHD in children and adults. A central nervous system stimulant, Ritalin is similar to both amphetamines and cocaine, although its effects are generally milder and less pleasurable....

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