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

***** Argument - Safe ***** Effective

***** statement of safety

Studies showing safety

Studies showing effectiveness

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

Studies not done on ***** children

JAMA study

Limited research ***** children

Opponent Argument - More potent than cocaine

WHO statement of caution

DEA statement of caution

***** study

***** Argument - Non**********

***** shows drug not 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 *****

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



Ritalin: ***** Unacceptable Choice

The drug commonly referred to as "Ritalin" (methylphenidate) is the most frequently prescribed medication for ***** treatment of a dise*****e known as attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (White, 289). This disease is one ***** the most diagnosed mental illnesses among children, with an estimated 4.1 percent of youths aged 9-17 being ***** with the ***** every 6 months (NIMH, 2001), *****d an estimated 4.3 million children under the age of 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 ***** drug to determine the ********** effectiveness, safety, and necessity in the treatment of younger children.

The FDA, as mentioned, approved ***** use ***** methylphenidate (MPH) as a s*****fe treatment ***** ADHD over thirty years ***** for the ***** of the illness in children *****s 6 and up, and numerous studies have echoed ***** concept. ***** than ********** controlled studies have been done on the effectiveness ***** the drug in treat*****g 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 treatment (*****, 2003).

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

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


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