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 ***** drug to an untested population, the addictive nature ***** the drug, the potential ***** abuse in young children, *****d 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 *****ness

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

Studies not done on ***** children

JAMA study

Limited research ***** children

Opponent Argument ***** More potent than cocaine

WHO statement of caution

***** statement of caution

***** study

***** ***** - Non**********

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

Opponent Response - Very Addictive


Access of youth to potent drug

Quin*****n and Byrne study

Meadow study

Greenhill *****

Opponent Argument - side *****

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



Ritalin: ***** Unacceptable Choice

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

The FDA, as mentioned, approved ***** use of methylphenidate (MPH) as a safe treatment ***** ADHD over ***** years ago for the treatment ***** ***** illness in children *****s ***** and up, and numerous studies have echoed ***** concept. ***** than *****60 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 h***** been found to control ***** better than behavioral treatment and routine community ***** (NIMH, 2003).

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

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


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