In 2001, The Observer newspaper in London reported that Ritalin is more potent than cocaine(Forster). What we now call ADHD was first described in 1845 by Dr. Heinrich Hoffman, whose son exhibited typical hyperactive behavior and found that it was caused by organic dysfunction rather than by poor parenting. Since then concerned parents arent hesitant to take their child into the doctors once they start acting up, leading to ADD and ADHD to be vvheavily over-prescribed. Due to a lack of physiological training medical doctors often incorrectly prescribe patients. Regular doctors shouldnt be allowed to prescribe behavior suppressing medication to children due to incorrect diagnoses occurring frequently and lasting harmful side effects from the medication.
Millions of children with ADHD and ADD have been diagnose medication to treat their condition. Also, concerned parents often go to the doctors to medicate their children instead of a no-pill approach causing the use of Ritalin among children and even infants has increased. Critics maintain that medicating such young children is one example of widespread over-prescribing. (Cognitive therapy vs. medications for ADHD). Since the amount of users of medication has been increasing the possible damage done to them has also been increasing. That means that more money is being put into the companies that produce Ritalin causing a cycle that fuels the over-prescribing. Additionally, there seems to be a very thin line between being hyperactive and having disorder; Some critics, including medical experts like the American Medical Association, do not believe that ADHD even exists.(Forster). If this is true then millions of children are taking medication that can cause a lot of damage with zero benefits. There are other, much safer, alternatives like therapy and IEPs to help a child control themselves. Millions of todays children are being wrongfully medicated for illnesses they dont have, the lasting damage will follow them into adulthood and make it more difficult to live a health life.
Psychological medication is often incorrectly diagnosed by regular doctors. In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services agrees that wrong diagnostics are very common,
The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that at any given time, about 1 in 5 children in the United States is suffering from some form of mental, emotional, or behavioral health problem-and that about two-thirds of that population does not receive adequate treatment.(Haber, Stuart, Baughman,)
Receiving incorrect treatment can leave permanent damage and stunt a child’s growing brain. Not to mention, all the money the family would have to pour out yearly to afford the medication.
To further the point, doctors have found multiple types of ADD, Unfortunately, ADD is generally treated as a single disorder. Our research, suggests that there are six distinct types of ADD, each with its own treatment options.(Haber, Stuart, Baughman). Despite there being multiple types of ADD they are all being treated as one. Children with ADD are probably being hurt by their own medication leading to lasting damage. Medical doctors frequently misprescribe patients and cause more harm than good.
Misprescribed medication can leave lasting harmful side effects on a child’s developing brain. Ritalin is one of the most common ADHD medications but Education Week reported on a study that claimed Ritalin may cause lasting brain damage, and have suggested that there is evidence that Ritalin use poses cancer risks.(Forster). Despite Ritalin being widely used there are serious side effects, if used improperly, that can even lead to death. Leaving a child to be responsible for their own medication could lead to their hospitalization. Research shows that, Ritalin can also worsen a child’s behavior, Investigators who reviewed the pharmaceutical company, found links between Ritalin and violent behavior (Brown University Child & Adolescent Behavior). Ritalin may have the exact opposite effect it is supposed to causing social damage and stress. Now the child is much harder to control causing stress for the family and teachers. Behavior suppressants like Ritalin can cause serious damage to the taker as well as stress to those around them.
There are various healthier, safer, and more efficient alternatives to behavioral suppressants like therapy and IEPs. For example, due to Ritalins sketchy background many mental health experts maintain that nobody should ever be given behavior drugs without psychotherapy. In fact, some advocate a no-drug approach.(Chittom, Lynn-nore, Sprague, Nancy). Psychotherapy can truly determine if children have a mental disorder like ADHD or if they are just hyper. Therapy may take longer but will save much more money than going on a pill. There are special learning plans for students with learning difficulties that have been in schools since 1997, individualized education plans (IEPs) are available for students with learning difficulties. These plans should be used in conjunction with creative parenting and teaching methods to help children achieve their own personal successes.(Chittom, Lynn-nore, Sprague, Nancy). Children with ADHD or ADD can have a learning plan that suits their own level. Parents dont have to worry and rush out to get their child dangerous medication anymore, now they can rest easy and set up an IEP. However, multiple case studies show children with ADHD who are treated with Ritalin engage in fewer impulsive acts, show improvements in the quantity and the quality of their schoolwork,.(Chittom, Lynn-nore, Sprague, Nancy). While, yes, Ritalin can be helpful in making the taker focus it also has many dangerous downfalls. From aggression to possible cancer, Ritalin is not a safe solution to ADHD. While Ritalin may be helpful in some ways there are much better alternatives like therapy or setting up IEPs.
ADHD medication, while can help children focus at school, is actually quite dangerous with links to aggression, insomnia, and cancer. Medical doctors are often the easiest option to for getting a prescription but due to their inexperience in the psychological field they often misprescribed their patients. Worried parents should go to a licenced psychiatrist who can correctly prescribe their child. Regular doctors should not be able to prescribe behavioral medication to adolescents due to numerous misprescribed patients and possible harmful effects. However, because not enough people realize the potential danger and with millions more children being prescribed in the past few years this problem may never be solved.