Why kids abuse ritalin.

Essay by shaneyoUniversity, Master'sA+, April 2003

download word file, 8 pages 4.3

Shane Smith


Michelle Monaco

Prescription drug abuse is something that has been an issue in the United States for decades. There have been many documented cases of individuals who have become addicted to sleeping pills, painkillers, or other medications to which they were prescribed. A huge example of this occurred in the 1970s, when abuse of the drug Dexedrine became an epidemic among women when it was over prescribed as a diet aid. Performance enhancers such as Viagra and Prozac are considered to be welcome additions to people's diets in this current time when it is believed that all of life's problems can be solved by taking some sort of pill. Ritalin, a drug that is intended for use in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most controversial prescription drugs today. The difference between Ritalin and other drugs on the market is that this drug is meant to treat a disorder that is most commonly diagnosed in younger patients.

ADHD, a medical condition that affects one's ability to concentrate and to maintain tasks, is considered to be the most common psychiatric disorder among school-aged children (Financial News). Because of the frequency of this condition among people in the younger age-bracket, Ritalin is being prescribed to children and teenagers in frenetically increasing amounts. The availability of this drug to young people has been the cause of concern for many parents, professionals, and government officials alike, who feel that ADHD is often over diagnosed, and that Ritalin is too easily given as treatment to individuals who may not need to be medicated, which has led to its misuse.

Although there are many sides to the Ritalin controversy, there is one fact that cannot be denied: the amount of Ritalin prescribed to people in the United...