How Ritalin can help.

Essay by MTrevenCollege, UndergraduateA, September 2003

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Just take one moment and imagine what it would be like for you not to have control over your brain. It's hard, isn't it? But for many people this is a daily obstacle. It is exactly what is happening to the brains of millions of Americans who are more frequently being labeled as having Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Thoughts scattering from one place to another, not listening to what other people say, not following through on instructions, endlessly losing things necessary for school or work, fidgeting, aggression, hyperactivity, and talking excessively are just some of the actions that characterize Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (Whaley 5). "Well, there must be something that can cure this disorder," you might be thinking. Sadly, this is not a curable disease, and may last the individual's lifetime. From adolescence to adulthood about 30% to 70% of the individuals with ADD/HD are continually affected with the symptoms.

According to the National Attention Deficit Disorder Association, "ADD/HD affects about 6% of the population and usually persists throughout a person's lifetime" (Whaley 1). However, ADD/HD is treatable and this is where the stimulant prescription drug, Ritalin, comes into the picture. Despite the controversies from its debated "over prescription", Ritalin has numerous benefits and positive outcomes for the ADD/HD children who take it.

What exactly are stimulant drugs? Different research studies have indicated that stimulant drugs are ones which heighten the amount of dopamine in the brain, which in turn allows the prescribed patient to have more control over their actions and to ignore outside stimuli that distract. Methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin, is a stimulant drug that has been prescribed to millions of people with ADD/HD as a means of improving attention and lowering their activity level. Ritalin may be taken in different...