Misuse of Ritalin

Essay by ngandhiCollege, UndergraduateA+, February 2006

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

Kyle Carroll of Albany, New York was diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) when he was in the first grade. His teacher told his parents, Michael and Jill, that Kyle was too hyper and couldn't concentrate for long periods of time. Without seeing a professional about Kyle's problem, Kyle was p on a medication called Ritalin. Immediately, his parents started to notice side effects on Kyle and when they tried to take their child off of the medication, the teacher threatened to call Social Services and lodge a complaint about child abuse (Kamin). Many families across America are faced with the problem of ADHD. In fact, approximately 4 million school aged children suffer from ADHD. Many cases are misdiagnosed and over one million people take Ritalin who don't need it, even though there are other alternatives.

In 1939, Dr. C. Bradley first prescribed Methylphenidate, or Ritalin, as a stimulant to treat children with ADHD (Mandelkorn).

ADHD is a brain disorder characterized by a short attention span, jumpiness, and impulsive behavior. To be diagnosed, the victim of the disease usually goes through an average of eleven doctors.

Ritalin is a risky drug. Taking this drug means having to take a dosage every four hours. Like any other medication, large doses can lead to addiction. At the end of the day, when the medication starts to wear off, mood swings occur and the one who suffers becomes irritable. Side effects, which include insomnia, loss of appetite, stunted height, and irritability, are brutal to the victim. Ritalin, if taken improperly, can increase a person's heartbeat and blood pressure. This can cause cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and premature death. If ADHD doesn't get treated correctly, or within the first couple of years, there are some serious long term consequences.

Ritalin is...