Pros and Cons of Ritalin (Methylphenidate) as a treatment for ADHD

Essay by LebchicaUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, November 2008

download word file, 8 pages 3.0

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), is the most common behavioural disorder in children which is characterized by increased motor activity and reduced attention span (Levinthal, 2005: 104) , and is being diagnosed in about three out of five children ( Kidd, 2006;Levinthal, 2005: 104). It also occurs three times more in boys than girls and the severity of the symptoms is much worse (Levintal, 2005:104).

Two thirds of school age children who have ADHD are diagnosed also with at least some other psychological disorder such as depression or anxiety, while forty to sixty percent of children whom have ADHD as a child, carry it on into adulthood (ibid). Thus, prevalence in adulthood is about three to four percent (Krause, Krause, Dresel, la Fougere, and Ackenheit, 2006). Treatment for ADHD consists of medication, usually stimulants and other non drug interventions. The most common medication used to treat ADHD is an amphetamine-like drug, methylphenidate (MPH) which is more commonly known as Ritalin (Levintal, 2005).

This paper will discuss how Ritalin works on the body and the impact it has on different aspects of one’s life, academically and psychologically. The paper will then discuss the effectiveness of Ritalin as a medication compared to other drugs that are used to treat Tourette’s or Tic disorders. Thus, it will conclude with the effectiveness in children compared to adolescence and adults along with other treatment available for ADHD and its effectiveness compared to Ritalin.

Ritalin, officially classified as a narcotic, is an amphetamine- like drug, thus used as a stimulant hence acting on the brain with a much slower onset similar to the effect of cocaine and amphetamines (Kidd, 2006). Ritalin raises levels of the neurotransmitter noradrenaline to aid in sharpening senses, yet it dulls the brain’s reaction to different distractions (Anon, 2006).

Although it acts...