Ritalin - Are We Turning Our Children Into Future Drug Addicts?
September 2002, Warren Matthews
I am writing this blog on an air plane between Los Angeles and Miami after reflecting on a conversation I had with someone in San Diego yesterday. What prompted this ‘reflection’ was that this person had a grandson who had been prescribed Ritalin and was concerned about possible side effects. As I am sure that this person is not alone in their concerns
I am writing this blog on an air plane between Los Angeles and Miami after reflecting on a conversation I had with someone in San Diego yesterday. What prompted this ‘reflection’ was that this person had a grandson who had been prescribed Ritalin and was concerned about possible side effects. As I am sure that this person is not alone in their concerns and as our readers may have children or grandchildren who are on this drug I considered it appropriate to devote this article to the subject.
For those readers who are not yet familiar with Ritalin let me give you a brief description. Ritalin is the brand name for methylphenidate, a drug developed to address Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children. ADHD is the term used to describe children who are hyperactive or even just plain difficult to control. Over one and a half million children in the US are now taking this drug... that’s a lot of kids!
Is this product safe? In my opinion... no, and the promotion of it is nothing short of scandalous. In fact it should be criminal! Why? Because it is addictive and is setting the groundwork for a new generation of drug dependency and it’s legal!
Nevertheless the majority of professionals in mainstream medicine continue to condone it even though they know it is addictive. Do you have doubts? How about this...
Last Sept the American Medical Association (AMA) published a study with the headline "Ritalin acts much like Cocaine". The AMA article states that "Ritalin is a more powerful stimulant that cocaine".
It didn’t take kids long to realize this. With a bit of experimentation they found that by crushing the tablets in to a powder and inhaling it that they could get high. How is this known?
A Drug Enforcement Administration study of Wisconsin, South Carolina, and Indiana found that as many as one-half of the teens in drug-treatment centers said they had used Ritalin to get high through administering it as described above. They also uncovered evidence of children selling their dosages to other children and pressure put on users to share their pills. The DEA now lists Ritalin in its Top 10 list of most often stolen prescription drugs.
It makes you wonder if perhaps some of these hyperactive children are perhaps putting on an ‘act’ to get a legal free source of drugs for either their own use or for sale.
To make matters worse...
Ritalin is being pushed by authorities.
It seems that teachers, psychiatrists and some doctors are ‘pushing’ this drug as an easy solution to children’s behavioral problems without giving much attention to the underlying causes of hyperactivity. In fact I have heard of instances when a parent refuses to cooperate with the administering of this drug to their children that they have been threatened with legal action.
The question that all parents (and grandparents) must ask if confronted with this problem in their family is, ‘what is causing the hyperactivity?’ What is so different between now and when I went to school? Is there something that has changed in the life of these children that is causing these problems? Other than the usual troublemaker at school the situation was not so bad that authorities had to consider drugging the children!
Yes, there is something that has changed dramatically…at least since I left school forty years ago. In a word…NUTRITION. If you are around the same age as me you will recollect that when we went to school a can of soda was a weekly treat if you were lucky. Likewise was a once a week treat to buy your own lunch. Nowadays many children hardly ever drink water... just sugar laden sodas. Have you ever observed the temporary behavioral changes that can take place in children after they drink sodas or eat ‘sweets’?
Although there are always exceptions to the rule you can rest assured that there is probably more than an 80 – 90% chance that the child’s behavioral problems stem from causes that can be addressed…naturally. For example, food allergies, poor nutrition leading to deficiencies in essential nutrients, or even toxic chemicals in the body from environmental pollution, including water. Remember to avoid giving your children tap water. Install either, a reverse osmosis system, high quality water filters or a water distiller. This will help reduce the risk of heavy metal contamination from water.
Treat the cause... not the symptoms.
Ritalin should be very much a treatment of last resort. Before agreeing to a prescription of Ritalin, examine the general health of your child, look at their diet. Are they getting their liquid intake from water, or from soda’s? Are they getting a good share of their food from unprocessed vegetables or from McDonalds?
I know that it is so much more convenient to give them medication that will suppress the symptoms, but the consequences in the years to follow do not bear thinking about. With regard to convenience it is going to be even easier soon for parents to give Ritalin to their children, thanks to the pending release of a ‘Ritalin’ patch which will have a timed release mechanism built in which will help eliminate the need for pills. This on one hand will help reduce the abuse of the pills, but on the other it will raise the use of this drug due to its convenience.
If you are confronted with this problem, for the sake of your child and your ultimate peace of mind don’t be ‘bullied’ into accepting this drug as a solution. At best it will treat the symptoms but will not deal with the cause. At worst it could be the first stage of creating a drug dependency in your child. Work with a professional that has some experience with resolving the symptoms through nutrition and possibly supplementation.