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Adhd Essay, Research Paper

Ritalin is a drug that many of us have probably heard of. It is a drug prescribed to students with ADHD. Is a drug whose use is very beneficial for our children, or is it a drug that should be cautiously prescribed and saved for only the worse ADHD? I feel that people should use more caution in the prescription of Ritalin.

The term ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. Its characteristics are people whose minds are often wondering, focusing on many different things at once. ADHD affects children as well as adults, but is far more common in boys than girls. The impairment ADHD has been increasingly diagnosed in resent years. It seems that everyone knows a person with the impairment. I feel that a lot of these diagnosis are simply because everyone has heard of the impairment. It is as if many people have suddenly decided what years ago was just a rowdy kid is now a kid with a neurological impairment. ADHD has now become the number one psychiatric disorder among Americas children. Experts believe 2 million children have the disorder.

The drug Ritalin is a drug that calm the agitated by stimulating the brain. It helps students and adults to keep his/her concentration and keep the brain on task. It is often used as a quick fix in the attempt to control ADHD. In schools across America Ritalin is being taken more and more often to allow students with ADHD to focus on class and to help them keep their hyperactivity under control.

To diagnose ADHD a student must be examined by a physician. In the past ten years the times Ritalin has been prescribed to students is up five fold. Many times Ritalin is suggested by a schoolteacher or counselor who causes the doctor to be pressured into prescribing it. This is not good. A drug as strong as Ritalin should not be prescribed simply because the doctor feels pressure to prescribe it because it is the “in” drug.

Today 1.3 million children take a drug that is considered a Schedule II controlled substance, in the same class as cocaine and methamphetamine. The Drug Enforcement Agency would like for the drug to be prescribed less and maybe even have the restrictions increased. But the parents groups, the ones who should be the most cautious about give their children drugs of any kind, would like the restrictions reduced to alleviate monthly doctors visits. This seems strange to me. I wonder if parents have really thought this though. A drug of this strength should not have the restrictions reduced so that the parents are not inconvenienced any more.

Another problem with Ritalin is that it has not been in mainstream use for over a decade and therefore long term affects of the drug are not really known. Studies in mice have shown that the drug has the potential to cause a rare cancer in the liver. This evidence should stop any parent to push for their children to take Ritalin. But this is not the case, in fact many parents never hear the possible problems with this drug because from the minute they visit the doctor all the want is a prescription of the so called “smart drug.” Particularly foolish have been known to suggest the use of a drug to teachers and doctors simply to raise their children’s grades. To me this seems like some people just aren’t thinking this though.

In our society of fax machines, video games, and e-mail, instant gratification is all people know. A drug is often a much easier cure than months or years of therapy and special education. Parents and teachers would rather get the “problem” out of the way quickly than have to deal with it over a child’s life. I think this is very sad. Children are the most important think in this world. Tomorrow they will be our teachers, parents, and businessmen. I think that we may be sell them short by putting a Band-Aid on the problem instead of finding a long term cure. If I had my way Ritalin would be prescribed far less tomorrow than it is today.

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