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Is Ritalin overprescribed in the US - Essay Example

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According to the studies conducted by the government, currently about 4 million school going children suffer from Attention deficit disorder but the number of prescriptions of Ritalin exceeds 20 million. It has been established by research that the drug is safe and does not produce any long-term side effects. This has encouraged the companies to market for their drugs directly to the general public. The public has therefore more access and information about the drug. This course of action is wrong as the information about Ritalin should only be used by proper qualified physicians. But on the other hand it has not been established that is has any long-term beneficial effect on the children. Ritalin produces a temporary calming and sedating effect and does not prove beneficial in curing the child. Although negative effects of the drugs are not yet known, the drug is classified under Schedule II along with cocaine and morphine indicating that it has an addictive effect. Regular dosage of Ritalin hence makes the children addicted to it and regular dosages become mandatory in the hope of treating their disorder. More than 150000 children in the US were using Ritalin in the year 1970. In the year 1974, this number had rocketed to 500000. Just three years later there were almost 1.8 million children who had been prescribed Ritalin on a daily dosage. The immense demand in Ritalin required more production of this drug. During the 1990s, the production of Ritalin had increased by seven hundred

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percent. More than three million people were prescribed Ritalin in 1991 and this figure increased to 11 million in 1998. It is easy to conclude from these facts and figures, that regardless of its success in controlling ADHD, its use has dramatically increased over the years. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is a strange disorder which cannot be diagnosed by any sort of physical test. It is hence very difficult to establish that a child is indeed suffering from ADHD. Children, who are inattentive in school but pay proper attention while playing sports and video games, do not suffer from ADHD. The effectiveness of Ritalin has been so widely publicized that it is now considered a guaranteed cure for those

Summary

It has been estimated that about five percent of the school going children suffer from Attention-deficit Hyperactivity disorder. Diagnosis of this disorder is extremely hard but generally the sufferer show conditions of hyperactivity and inattention to the listener. …
Author : raphael94
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