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 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 ***** 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 ***** *****

Opponent Argument - More potent th***** cocaine

WHO statement of caution

***** statement of caution

Brookhaven *****

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

***** shows ***** ***** addictive in children wi***** ADHD.

Opponent Response - Very Addictive


Access of youth to potent drug

Quinton and Byrne study

Meadow *****

Greenhill study

Opponent Argument - side *****

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



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

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 ***** is one of ***** most diagnosed mental illnesses among children, with an estimated 4.1 percent of youths aged 9-17 being diagnosed with the disease every 6 months (NIMH, 2001), and 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 ***** drug to determine the ********** effectiveness, safety, and necessity in the treatment of younger *****.

The *****, as mentioned, approved the use of methylphenidate (MPH) as a safe treatment for ADHD over ***** years ago for ***** treatment of the illness in children ages 6 and up, and numerous studies have echoed this concept. More than **********0 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 symp*****ms better than behavioral treatment and routine community ***** (*****, 2003).

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

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


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