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 s*****fe, effective treatment for ADHD, ***** prescribing of the drug to an untested population, the addictive nature of the *****, the potential ***** abuse in young children, and the sometimes life altering side effects ***** the medication make Ritalin an unsafe alternative for ADHD treatment.

***** Argument - Safe and Effective

***** statement of safety

Studies showing safety

Studies showing effectiveness

Opponent Response - Untested in growing population of users

Studies not done on young children

JAMA study

Limited research on *****

Opponent Argument ***** More potent than cocaine

WHO statement of caution

DEA statement ***** caution

***** study

***** Argument - Non-addictive

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

Opponent Response - Very Addictive


Access of youth to potent drug

Quin*****n ***** Byrne study

Meadow study

Greenhill study

Opponent Argument - side *****

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



Ritalin: An Unacceptable Choice

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

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

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

The result, then, is an increase in the prescribing of a drug to a l*****rgely untested group ***** subjects. The


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