Scott Gregorio Zuniga
Ann M Stotts; Instructor
RITALIN IS NOT THE MIRACLE DRUG
Being diagnose with ADHD, in the early 80’s I was prescribed a medication known as the “miracle drug”, known today as Ritalin. Ritalin is a methylphenidate, central nervous system stimulant, which is widely used for the management of ADHD (Abuse and toxicity of methylphenidate, pg 219). Ritalin was first introduced around the early 80’s to treat children for ADHD. The first documented use of stimulants in the treatment of behavioral disorders in children was in 1937 (ADHD in Children, Adolescents, and Adults pg. 328). Being on Ritalin, did improve my fidgeting and bouncing, but it was doing more than stopping me from fidgeting, it started changing my thoughts and demeanor; meaning I started having more suicide thoughts, and wanting to hurt people, I became very mean and upset very easily, At times I couldn’t even eat or sleep for days. These are just a few of the side effects I had while using Ritalin. I have talked to other people that were also prescribed Ritalin in their adolescent years and they also said, that they to became mean and were sometimes in a zombie state of mind. There is no hard evidence showing that Ritalin causes psychotic behaviors, but in 2005, the FDA added warning labels to ADHD drugs belonging to the methylphenidate class because of concerns of psychiatric side effects, including visual hallucinations, suicidal ideation, aggression and violent behavior. (Drugs with potentially psychotic side effects)
Studies on Ritalin have shown that Ritalin has a long-term effect on normal functioning brains. A new study conducted in 2004, by ACNP (American Collage of Neuropsychopharmacology), is among the first to examine the effects of early Ritalin exposures in rats on behavior and brain functions during the later periods of life. Dr. Carlezon and his chief collaborator, Dr. Susan Anderson examined the effects, and their study showed that the animals had reduced ability to experience pleasure and reward, particularly when it was measured by sensitivity to cocaine, the animals also showed more evidence of dysfunctional brain reward systems and depressive – like behaviors in adults.( American Collage of Neuropsychopharmacology).
I find this to be very true, growing up I had some toys, but it was more than that. Playing with toys didn’t satisfy me or give me the reward of pleasure, but what did give me the pleasure were drugs. When I was first introduced to drugs, it was marijuana. Marijuana did calm me down and in a way it did help me keep focus. Then in high school I was introduced to cocaine. Cocaine had a totally different effect on me then on my friends; as they would use they became hyper, but for me it was like the void I was missing; meaning pleasure, soon became fulfilled. It didn’t make me feel hyper, nervous or angry, it calmed down in away, cocaine studies have shown that, cocaine is a pleasure stimulant in the brain. After awhile the pleasure disappeared, but now I became addicted to cocaine and my aggressive behavior was back, along with addiction. I cleaned myself up and got away from drugs. Without medication to treat my ADHD and off drugs. My life once again became very dysfunctional and unmanageable. I went like this for years and Ritalin was not an option. Ph. D William Carlezon sated “ while Ritalin is an effective medication that improves the quality of life for many children with ADHD, accurately diagnosing and indentifying the correct treatment regimen for the disorder is essential, especially when considering health effects that can last through adulthood” ( American Collage of Neuropsychopharmacology).
Ritalin has even caused death. A fourteen year boy was diagnosed with ADHD in the 80’s and was prescribed Ritalin. In 2000, he died he died from long-term usage. His parents said “our fourteen year old son Mathew suddenly died on March 21, 2000, the cause of death was to be determined to be from long-term use of Methylphenidate, a drug commonly known as Ritalin.” Dr. Ljuba Dragovic, the chief pathologist who performed the autopsy determined Mathew heart showed clear signs of small vessel damage caused from the use of Methylphenidate, Ritalin. (National Alliance against Mandated Mental Health Screening and Psychiatric Drugging of Children). Mathew did not have any pre-existing heart condition or defects. So, why isn’t this medication off the market? According to the FDA, there isn’t enough evidence connecting the deaths with usage of Ritalin and other ADHD medications. How much more evidence do we need before the government and doctors realize that Ritalin has caused deaths, heart attacks and other mental health issues. When evidence shows that someone killed someone, what happens, they take the killer out of society and lock them up and this is what we need to do to Ritalin, treat it like a killer and take it out of society.
In summary, Ritalin is
In summary, Ritalin is not the merical drug to curing ADHD, which so many people thought it would be. Evidence and studies clearly show that Ritalin can cause heart problems and mental health issues. This is why Ritalin is not the merical drug. In till more advance research and studies are conducted on the long-term effect on Ritalin, it will still remain on the market. Ritalin should not be available to anyone or anybody, and I would think twice before putting this killer medication in any children(s) bodies, and adults shouldn’t take this medication either. Scientific facts and true testimony from people that have ADHD, or someone that knows a person with ADHD are out there. Studies and research are avaible. So, it is up to us to fight and speak up to the manufactures and the FDA about our concerns. We must bring knowledge, testimony and more in depth studies to show the FDA and the Ritalin manufactures, that Ritalin is a hazardous drug to children and adults. Studies have shown tha
Katragadda Screenivas, MD, Schubiner Howard, MD. “ADHD in Children, Adolescents, and Adults.” 2007, pg.328
Klein-Schwartz Wendy, PharmD, MPH “Abuse and Toxicity of Methylphenidate.” 2002, pg. 219
Drugs with potentially psychotic side effects
American Collage of Neuropsychopharmacology
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