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

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Ritalin: An Unacceptable Choice


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

***** Argument - Safe *****d Effective

***** statement of safety

***** showing safety

Studies showing effectiveness

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

Studies not done on ***** children

JAMA study

Limited research on children

Opponent Argument - More potent than cocaine

WHO statement of caution

***** statement of caution

***** *****

Proponent Argument - Non-*****

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

Opponent Response - Very Addictive


Access ***** youth to potent *****

Quinton and Byrne study

Meadow study

Greenhill study

Opponent Argument - side *****

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



Ritalin: An Unacceptable *****

The drug commonly referred to as "Ritalin" (methylphenidate) is the most frequently prescribed medication for ***** treatment of a disease known as attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (White, 289). This ***** is one ***** the most diagnosed mental illnesses among children, with an estimated 4.1 percent of youths aged 9-17 being ***** with ***** dise*****e every 6 months (NIMH, 2001), ***** 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 ***** 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 ***** drug to determine the ********** effectiveness, safety, and necessity in the treatment of younger *****.

The *****, as mentioned, approved the use of ***** (MPH) as a safe treatment for ADHD over thirty years ago for the ***** ***** the illness in children ages 6 and up, and numerous studies have echoed this concept. ***** ***** 1*****0 controlled studies have been done on the effectiveness ***** 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 ***** (NIMH, 2003).

However, ***** treatment has ***** tested in ***** of ***** ***** six and up, and yet many in the medical profession are diagnos*****g Ritalin ***** children far younger ***** this recommended age. According to a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), ***** prevalence of MPH use ***** ***** ********** two through four tripled in some areas between 1991 and 1995 (Zito, et al, *****27). There have only been seven studies of children ***** the age ***** six on Rit*****in, and those ***** combined had only 156 subjects (*****, 1).

The result, then, is an increase in the prescribing of a ***** to a largely un***** group of subjects. The


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