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

Proponent Argument - Safe ********** Effective

***** statement of safety

***** showing safety

Studies showing effectiveness

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

Studies not done on young children

JAMA study

Limited research on *****

Opponent Argument ***** More potent than cocaine

***** statement of caution

DEA statement of caution

***** *****

***** Argument - Non*****addictive

***** shows drug not addictive in children with *****.

Opponent Response - Very Addictive


Access ***** youth to potent drug

Quin*****n and Byrne study

Meadow study

Greenhill study

Opponent Argument - side effects

*****, Musten, Pisterman, Mercer, ***** Bennett *****



Ritalin: An Unacceptable *****

The ***** commonly referred to as "Ritalin" (methylphenidate) is the most frequently prescribed medication for ***** treatment of a dise*****e known as attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (White, 289). This disease is one ***** the most diagnosed mental illnesses among children, with an estimated 4.1 percent of youths aged 9-17 being ***** with the ***** every 6 months (NIMH, 2001), and an estimated 4.3 million children under the age of 18 currently listed as ADHD 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 drug's effectiveness, *****, and necessity in the treatment ***** younger children.

The *****, as mentioned, approved ***** use of methylphenidate (MPH) as a safe treatment ***** ADHD over thirty years ***** for the treatment ***** the illness in children *****s 6 and up, and numerous studies have echoed this concept. More ***** 1*****0 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 been found to control ***** better than behavioral treatment and routine community treatment (*****, 2003).

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

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


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