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Ritalin for ADHD


Methylphenidate is the generic name for Ritalin, one of the most popular drugs used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It can help to control many of the symptoms including focusing, controlling actions, and remaining still or quiet. It has been approved for use by both children as young as four years and adults.

Ritalin is actually a stimulate and the theory is that this central nervous stimulant combined with the presence of hyperactivity put a child in overdrive which causes him to level out.

Many parents feel pressure from schools, family and doctors to put their ADHD children on medication such as Ritalin. Parents who work with children who have ADHD are often exhausted and distracted. For many it seems easier to take a pill then deal with the heavy lifting of therapy and intervention supported by constant feedback. Children may also be disenfranchised at school and not develop friendships accordingly. However, for many ADHD is not necessary and therapy would be a good and effective alternative. Each family has to make their own decision about what is best for their particular situation.

Of the millions of children prescribed Ritalin or other stimulants only 400 have been tracked into adulthood to see what the long term affect is. There has been a lot of controversy about the long term effects of taking Ritalin for years.

For the kids who do suffer from ADHD, Ritalin can be a life saver, literally, keeping kids calm and out of trouble. As children get older that kind of trouble can become something irreparable like a police record or injury from severe accident. Most adults who had ADHD as children, when asked to look back on their drug experience with Ritalin, say they are thankful for the drug and its ability to help them focus. However, they did feel that taking daily meds made them different from their friends.

Stimulants have been known to cause death and should always be taken with a physician’s supervision.

Source: LATimes, nlm.nih.gov

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