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 ***** 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 and Effective

***** statement of safety

Studies showing safety

Studies showing *****ness

Opponent Response - Untested in growing population 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

Brookhaven study

Proponent ***** - Non*****addictive

Study shows drug not addictive in ***** with ADHD.

Opponent Response - Very Addictive


Access ***** youth to potent drug

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

Meadow *****

Greenhill study

Opponent Argument - side effects

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



Ritalin: An Unacceptable Choice

The drug commonly referred to as "Ritalin" (methylphenidate) is ***** most frequently prescribed medication for the treatment of a dise*****e known as attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (*****) (White, 289). This disease is one of ***** 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 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 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, safety, and necessity in the ***** of younger *****.

The FDA, as mentioned, approved ***** use of ***** (MPH) as a s*****fe treatment ***** ***** over thirty years ***** for the treatment ***** the illness in children *****s ***** and up, and numerous studies have echoed ***** concept. More ***** *****60 controlled studies ***** been done on the effectiveness ***** the drug in treating symptoms such as hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsive behaviors (Hyman, 1). In many, drug treatment alone h***** been found to control ***** better than behavioral treatment and routine community ***** (NIMH, 2003).

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

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


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