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 ***** an untested population, the addictive nature of 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 and Effective

FDA statement of safety

***** showing safety

Studies showing effectiveness

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

Studies not done on young children

JAMA study

Limited research on *****

Opponent Argument - More potent than cocaine

***** statement of caution

***** statement ***** caution

***** *****

Proponent Argument - Non-addictive

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

Opponent Response - Very Addictive


Access of youth to potent *****

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

Meadow study

Greenhill study

Opponent Argument - side effects

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



Ritalin: An Unacceptable *****

The drug 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 dise*****e is one ***** the most diagnosed mental illnesses among children, with an estimated 4.1 percent of youths aged 9-17 being ***** with ***** disease every 6 months (NIMH, 2001), ***** ***** estimated 4.3 million ***** 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 ***** for the treatment of children over thirty years ago (Hyman, 1), medical professionals and society in general have continuously reevaluated the use of the drug to determine the *****'s effectiveness, safety, and necessity in the ***** ***** younger children.

The *****, as menti*****d, approved the use of ***** (MPH) as a s*****fe treatment ***** ***** over thirty years ago for the ***** ***** the illness in children ages ***** and up, and numerous studies have echoed this concept. ***** than ********** 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 ***** found to control ***** better than behavioral treatment and routine community treatment (NIMH, 2003).

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

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


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