The Use of Ritalin Should be Limited

Essay by lilliputUniversity, Master'sA+, August 2008

download word file, 23 pages 5.0

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are behavioral disorders affecting attention span, impulse control, and self-discipline (Miller & Keane, 1982, pg. 19). They are usually associated with children, although adults can suffer from the same disorders. Typically medicated with psychostimulants such as Ritalin or Adderall, (methylphenidate and dextroamphetamine, respectively), concern over these disorders surrounds problems such as over-diagnosis or misuse of the prescription medications (Breggin, 2006).

It could be argued by many parents that since their children have been on Ritalin there has been a marked improvement in several areas. These children are now able to concentrate on their studies and enjoy the satisfaction of being able to keep up with other students. These students also enjoy a better relationship with their peers, friends and families. However, my claim in this paper is that the use of Ritalin should be restricted because it has become too accessible, too easy to prescribe, and the number of students being treated today with this dangerous drug is alarming.

The harsh side effects outweigh the benefits. A drug does not become "safe" simply because it is prescribed by a doctor.

It is my intention in this paper to explore the side effects of taking Ritalin. This will, I hope, convince the readers that Ritalin is a bad solution because of these terrible side effects. Then I will demonstrate that too many children are being prescribed Ritalin much too easily, that there are many problems surrounding long-term use of Ritalin. Finally, I will discuss the over prescribing and pressure put on parents to use Ritalin on any behavioral problem that interferes with classroom behavior. Parents should seek out other ways to deal with problematic children than just going the easy way and giving Ritalin.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD, is one...