The Miracle Drug: Ritalin?

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  • Topic: Methylphenidate, Pharmacology, Stimulant
  • Pages : 2 (613 words )
  • Download(s) : 365
  • Published : May 4, 2011
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“Chemical straightjacket or miracle drug?” Wow. What a powerful statement on such a hot-button issue. I have done some reading in JAMA regarding this issue and interestingly, the research that I have read is as dichotomous as the information presented in the textbox article that we read this week. Currently, there are not many other options available for the treatment of ADHD that don’t all come with possible side-effect risk. Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a stimulant much like the methamphetamines that were used in the past to treat people with ADHD. However, contrary to their stimulant effects, there drugs have proven to be helpful in patients suffering from ADHD. “As researchers have confirmed Ritalin’s quieting effect on individuals with ADHD and its ability to help them focus and solve complex tasks” (Comer, 2011, p. 430).

Parents laude the praises of the drug’s efficacy, yet are concerned over the long-term possible side effects of the drug. Parents are concerned over possible dependency. Stimulants always have the potential to be addictive and can be abused and sold on the street. Consequently, parents are concerned over misuse, abuse, and overdose caused by not taking the drug as instructed (i.e. snorting it or taking larger doses than recommended). Parents are also concerned about having their children take a medication that is so long-term and the possible side-effects that come with long-term medication use. Children often face a stigma placed upon them from peers who mock them for being on Ritalin. Children also face the reality of being on a medication for a long period of time. Children also face the reality of the potential side effects that are caused by the drug.

Doctors share many of the same concerns. “During the late 1980’s, several lawsuits were filed against physicians, schools, and even the American Psychiatric Association, claiming misuse of Ritalin” (Comer, 2011, p.430). Due to these lawsuits, some doctors abstain...
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