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

***** Argument - Safe and Effective

FDA statement of safety

Studies showing safety

Studies showing effectiveness

***** Response - Untested in growing ***** of users

Studies not done on young children

JAMA study

Limited research ***** children

Opponent Argument ***** More potent than cocaine

***** statement of caution

DEA statement ***** caution

Brookhaven study

Proponent Argument - Non-*****

***** shows drug ***** addictive in children with ADHD.

Opponent Response - Very Addictive


Access of youth to potent *****

Quinton ***** Byrne study

Meadow study

Greenhill study

Opponent Argument - side *****

*****, 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 disease known as attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (White, 289). This ***** is one ***** the most diagnosed mental illnesses among *****, with an estimated 4.1 percent of youths aged 9-17 being diagnosed with the dise*****e every 6 months (NIMH, 2001), ***** an estimated 4.3 million children under the age ***** 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 ***** 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 ********** effectiveness, *****, and necessity in the ***** of younger *****.

The *****, as mentioned, approved the use of methylphenidate (MPH) as a safe treatment for ***** over ***** years ago for ***** ***** of the illness in children ages ***** and up, and numerous studies have echoed this concept. ***** than 160 controlled studies ***** 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 h***** ***** found to control ***** better than behavioral treatment and routine community ***** (NIMH, 2003).

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

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


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