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 s*****fe, effective treatment for ADHD, the prescribing of the 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.

Proponent Argument - Safe *****d Effective

***** statement of safety

Studies showing safety

Studies showing effectiveness

***** Response ***** Untested in growing population of users

Studies not done on ***** children

JAMA study

Limited research ***** *****

Opponent Argument - More potent than cocaine

WHO statement of caution

***** statement of caution

Brookhaven *****

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

Study shows drug not addictive in children with ADHD.

Opponent Response - Very Addictive


Access of youth to potent drug

Quinton and Byrne study

Meadow study

Greenhill study

Opponent Argument - side *****

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



Ritalin: ***** Unacceptable *****

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 (*****) (White, 289). This disease is one of ***** most diagnosed mental illnesses among *****, with an estimated 4.1 percent of youths aged 9-17 being ***** with the ***** every 6 months (NIMH, 2001), ********** 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 ***** FDA approved this ***** ***** 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 drug's effectiveness, safety, and necessity in the ***** ***** younger children.

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

However, ***** treatment has been tested in studies of children aged six and *****, and yet many in the medical profession are diagnosing 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 in ***** ages two through four tripled in some areas between 1991 and 1995 (Zi*****, et al, 1027). There have only been seven ***** of children ***** the age ***** six on *****, ***** those seven combined had only 156 subjects (Hyman, 1).

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


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