Depending on your point of view, Ritalin is an essential medication that has helped millions of ADHD children or it is a unsafe substance that is forced down the throats of children by manipulative drug companies. Myomancy has reported on both sides of this dispute.
On the positive side is Why Parents Give Their Kid’s Ritalin that looks at a successful use of Methylphenidate mediation. A troubled little boy is turned into a bright attentive child by simply taking a couple of pills a day.
All this medication is big business. Over the last few years there has been a surge of spending on Ritalin and related ADHD medication for the under fives. Overall the ADHD drug market is $2.7 billion with much of that cost being picked up by insurers who ask ‘Do drugs like Adderall work‘. Despite this medication usage grows and the cost of treatment increases.
Some of the rapid growth in Ritalin prescriptions can be linked to how teachers view ADHD and stimulant drugs though drug companies and their marketing influences doctors. Of course parents play a part in this and some parents push for stimulants.
Many worry that medication is being over prescribed. This doesn’t just effect Ritalin. Children are using more sleeping pills than ever. Medication also has side-effects and 3100 people go to ER due to ADHD medication. The direct health risks of using ADHD medication are real. The FDA has strengthen its warnings about health risks and Ritalin. There are problems with ADHD drugs and the packets lists the side effects such as insomnia and loss of appetite. Some research has linked ADHD medication to stunted growth.
The link between Methylphenidate stimulants and illegal, street drugs is very close. Chemically, the brand name medications are similar to speed, and there has been a lot of research on Ritalin and Cocaine. Not directly related but interesting is this research on the treatment of ADHD adults who are cocaine users. There is also good research between childhood medication and adult drug abuse.
Another aspect of the link between Ritalin and illegal drugs is when Ritalin itself is abused. There are reports of people faking ADHD in order to get medication. There are also reports of addiction to Adderall and its general abuse.
For the cost conscious there is a guide to Ritalin best buys.
Research into newer and more effective drugs than Ritalin continues with a patch for ADHD being developed and approved despite doubts of its safety. Also under development is Lisdexamfetamine Dimesylate. Its an strange fact that drug companies research always show better results than independent studies of the same drug.
There is an alternative to commercial medication that is cheaper and most of us have in the house already. Caffeine like ADHD medication is a stimulant and one the majority of adults use everyday. In fact Caffeine and ADHD has been researched many times including in this study: Forget Ritalin, Drink Coffee.
Sometimes you have to look at the funny side of Ritalin. You might just have to ask yourself, If Ritalin is safe, why not give it to all the kids?