In today’s society we want a “quick fix” to remedy our problems. Therefore doctors are prescribing the drug, Ritalin, excessively.
AlthoughRitalin is a widely used drug to control AD (H) D, there are other saferalternatives to combat this worldwide disorder. Ritalin, like many otherdrugs, has several side effects, some of which are severe. Ritalin is in aclass of drugs called Methylphetamines. These types of drugs affecteverything from thought process to everyday breathing.
Ritalin’s major sideeffects influence the cardiovascular system, the central nervous system,gastrointestinal, endocrine/metabolic system. Also, Ritalin is a fairly newdrug. It hasn’t been around long enough to study the long-term effects. Since Ritalin is a Methylphetamine (closely related to the amphetaminefamily, such as cocaine), it has a high rate of abuse. In light ofmethylphenidate’s abuse liability, it is important to note the tremendousincrease in availability of this substance and the expanded population(adolescents and adults) receiving prescriptions for the treatment of AD(H) D. A danger is that since Ritalin is related to amphetamines, it hasalmost the same physiological effects.
A users body will build a toleranceto the stimulant, therefore requiring more drugs to sustain the same levelof abuse. This is very dangerous since the side effects on a normal doseare already dangerous; critics say in some children its use can leave themrobotic, lethargic, depressed, or withdrawn. Although there are manyharmful side effects and social problems related to Ritalin, many advocatesclaim that Ritalin is a vital part of controlling AD (H) D. And in mostcases Ritalin has shown proven results. It does exactly what it wasdesigned to do.
However, parents and children should aim for otheralternatives before resulting to the use of Ritalin. Most doctors can’taccurately diagnose AD (H) D in a 20-30 minute visit. Studies show that onein twenty children may be affected by this disorder. There are manyadditional factors that need to be considered but are often overlooked. There are ways a patient diagnosed with AD (H) D can overcome thisdisorder. Rather than taking Ritalin, a change in diet can have a bigimpact on ones attention.
Stress levels, like diet, can cause loss ofattention, making it hard to concentrate. A change in study habits can alsobe very beneficial to someone having a difficult time concentrating. So byeating healthy, eliminating certain “stressors,” and finding a study habitthat works for a person, he can overcome the disorder. Ritalin only treatsthe symptoms of AD (H) D, not the disorder itself. And the symptoms willalways be there, unless something is done about it.
This article discusses the extreme rise in the use of Ritalin amongchildren. This article has me worried, due to the serious side effects dueto its use. It is not licensed to children under six but it has beenprescribed to children just months old. The number of prescriptions roseby 22% last year, most likely caused by its use as a first choicetreatment.http:/newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.uk/1/hi/health/3072445.stmAdditional Information: WebMD