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, 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 and Effective

FDA statement of safety

***** showing safety

Studies showing effectiveness

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

Studies not done on young children

JAMA study

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

Opponent Argument - More potent than cocaine

***** statement of caution

***** statement of caution

***** study

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

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

Opponent Response - Very Addictive


Access of youth to potent *****

Quin*****n and Byrne study

Meadow study

Greenhill study

Opponent Argument - side effects

Firestone, Musten, Pisterman, Mercer, and Bennett study



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

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 ***** dise*****e 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, *****, and necessity in the treatment of younger children.

The FDA, as menti*****d, approved ***** use of ***** (MPH) as a safe treatment for ADHD over ***** years ago for the treatment of ***** illness in ***** *****s ***** and up, and numerous studies have echoed ***** concept. More ***** 160 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 has been found to control ***** better than behavioral treatment and routine community treatment (NIMH, 2003).

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

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


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