Essay - Ritalin: an Unacceptable Choice Introduction Thesis Statement: While Some Researchers...

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Ritalin: An Unacceptable Choice


***** Statement: While some researchers believe the drug to be a safe, effective treatment for ADHD, the prescribing of the drug to an untested population, the addictive nature of the drug, the potential ***** abuse in young children, *****d the sometimes life altering side effects of the medication make Ritalin an unsafe alternative for ADHD treatment.

Proponent Argument - Safe and Effective

***** statement of safety

Studies showing safety

Studies showing *****ness

Opponent Response - Untested in grow*****g ***** of users

Studies not done on ***** children

JAMA study

Limited research ***** children

Opponent Argument ***** More potent than cocaine

***** statement of caution

***** statement of caution

***** *****

Proponent Argument - Non-addictive

***** shows drug ***** addictive in children with *****.

Opponent Response - Very Addictive


Access ***** youth to potent drug

Quinton ***** Byrne study

Meadow *****

Greenhill study

Opponent Argument - side effects

*****, Musten, Pisterman, Mercer, and Bennett study



Ritalin: ***** Unacceptable Choice

The drug commonly referred to as "Ritalin" (methylphenidate) is ***** most frequently prescribed medication for the treatment of a disease known as attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (White, 289). This dise*****e is one ***** the most diagnosed mental illnesses among *****, with an estimated 4.1 percent of youths aged 9-17 being ***** with ***** disease every 6 months (NIMH, 2001), and an estimated 4.3 million children under the age ***** 18 currently listed as ***** or ADD suffers (White, 290). Due to the large number of prescriptions written for Ritalin since the FDA approved this ***** for the treatment of children over thirty years ago (Hyman, 1), medical professionals and society in general have continuously reevaluated the use of the drug to determine the *****'s effectiveness, *****, and necessity in the treatment ***** younger children.

The *****, as menti*****d, approved ***** use of ***** (MPH) as a s*****fe treatment for ADHD over ***** years ago for the treatment ***** the illness in children *****s ***** and up, and numerous studies have echoed this concept. More ***** 160 controlled studies have been done on the effectiveness ***** the drug in treating symptoms such as hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsive behaviors (Hyman, 1). In many, drug treatment alone has ***** found to control ***** better than behavioral treatment and routine community treatment (NIMH, 2003).

However, ***** treatment has been tested in studies of children aged six and up, and yet many in the medical profession are diagnosing Ritalin ***** children far younger than this recommended age. According to a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), ***** prevalence of ***** use ***** children ********** two through four tripled in some *****as between 1991 and 1995 (Zito, et al, 1027). There have only been seven studies of children ***** the age of ***** on Ritalin, and those seven combined had ***** 156 subjects (Hyman, 1).

The result, then, is an increase in the prescribing of a ***** to a l*****rgely un***** gro***** of *****. The


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