In today’s society, we want a quick fix to remedy our problems. Therefore, doctors are excessively prescribing the drug Ritalin.
Although Ritalin is a widely used drug to control ADHD, there are other safer alternatives to combat this worldwide disorder. Ritalin, like many other drugs, has several side effects, some of which are severe. Ritalin belongs to a class of drugs called Methylphetamines, which can affect everything from thought processes to everyday breathing.
Ritalin has major side effects that affect the cardiovascular system, central nervous system, gastrointestinal system, and endocrine/metabolic system. Additionally, Ritalin is a relatively new drug, and there hasn’t been enough time to study its long-term effects. Due to its classification as a Methylphenidate, which is closely related to the amphetamine family (such as cocaine), it has a high potential for abuse. It’s important to note the increased availability of this substance and the expanded population (adolescents and adults) receiving prescriptions for the treatment of ADHD. One danger is that Ritalin has almost the same physiological effects as amphetamines.
A user’s body will build a tolerance to the stimulant, therefore requiring more drugs to sustain the same level of abuse. This is very dangerous since the side effects on a normal dose are already dangerous. Critics say that in some children, its use can leave them robotic, lethargic, depressed, or withdrawn. Although there are many harmful side effects and social problems related to Ritalin, many advocates claim that it is a vital part of controlling ADHD. In most cases, Ritalin has shown proven results and does exactly what it was designed to do.
However, parents and children should aim for other alternatives before resorting to the use of Ritalin. Most doctors can’t accurately diagnose ADHD in a 20-30 minute visit. Studies show that one in twenty children may be affected by this disorder. There are many additional factors that need to be considered but are often overlooked. There are ways a patient diagnosed with ADHD can overcome this disorder. Rather than taking Ritalin, a change in diet can have a big impact on one’s attention.
Stress levels, like diet, can cause loss of attention, making it hard to concentrate. A change in study habits can also be very beneficial to someone having a difficult time concentrating. By eating healthy, eliminating certain stressors, and finding a study habit that works for a person, they can overcome the disorder. Ritalin only treats the symptoms of ADHD, not the disorder itself. The symptoms will always be there unless something is done about it.
This article discusses the extreme rise in the use of Ritalin among children. It has me worried due to the serious side effects associated with its use. Ritalin is not licensed for use in children under six, yet it has been prescribed to children just months old. The number of prescriptions rose by 22% last year, most likely due to its use as a first-choice treatment. For additional information, visit WebMD.