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

***** Argument - Safe and Effective

***** statement of safety

***** showing safety

Studies showing effectiveness

Opponent Response ***** Untested in growing ***** of users

Studies not done on young children

JAMA study

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

Opponent Argument - More potent than cocaine

***** statement of caution

DEA statement of caution

***** *****

Proponent Argument - Non-addictive

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

Opponent Response - Very Addictive


Access of youth to potent drug

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

Meadow study

Greenhill study

Opponent Argument - side *****

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



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

The drug commonly referred to as "Ritalin" (methylphenidate) is the most frequently prescribed medication for the treatment of a disease known as attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (White, 289). This disease is one ***** ***** most diagnosed mental illnesses among children, with an estimated 4.1 percent of youths aged 9-17 being diagnosed with the ***** every 6 months (NIMH, 2001), ********** an estimated 4.3 million ***** under the age ***** 18 currently listed as ***** or ADD suffers (White, 290). Due to the large number of prescriptions written for Ritalin since ***** 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 ********** effectiveness, *****, and necessity in the ***** of younger *****.

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

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